tv Republican National Convention MSNBC August 30, 2012 4:00pm-10:00pm PDT
they will make laws our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will have to live under. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. msnbc's special coverage of the republican national convention starts now. the first catholic nominee 1928 a democrat. the first woman nominee 1984 a democrat. the first jewish candidate 2000 a democrat. the first african-american nominee 2008 a democrat. but this year it is the republican party breaking the glass ceiling. in the footsteps of his father who tried but ner made it this far, tonight mitt romney accepts the republican party's nomination for president of the united states. his mormon faith means tonight makes history. his faith, his business career,
his one term as governor of a northeastern liberal state all spotlighted by the campaign and the party tonight. mitt romney, this is your life. with marco rubio and jeb bush and newt gingrich and a whole bunch of videos and a choir and clint eastwood maybe? tonight the culmination of the republican national convention, the grand debut of mitt romney presidential nominee. msnbc's live primetime coverage begins right now. good evening. it is liftoff night for mitt romney. i'm rachel maddow at msnbc headquarters in new york city along with my colleagues ed shultz and the reverend al
sharpton, chris hayes and steve schmidt. lawrence o'donnell will be joining us as well. leading coverage from tampa is the one and only chris matthews. chris, this is the big night. i mean, there has not been much said about mitt romney personally these past couple nights. it's been a good commercial for the republican party, not much on the nominee. but tonight that all changes. is there anything that surprises you about tonight's agenda? >> no. i think that clint eastwood is interesting because no matter what script he's given, he's still clint eastwood. we know the guy, his back story. he's tough. he's got character. the big problem tonight for mitt romney is will the words define him or will they simply guide us to his weaknesses, his attempts to create a notion of himself rather than the reality. i'll go back to it, the back story is more important than the script tonight. we'll all be watching for that thing. >> there's one thing i wanted to get your take on before we go too far. we just fed in this tape from chris christie today talking to
delegates in tampa about how they should react to mitt romney's speech. this is chris christie. listen. >> i want to tell you something. i've been a little bit disappointed at the volume of noise on the floor of that convention the last two nights. i've got to be honest with you. i've been a little disappointed in it. i'm going to urge all of you tonight, i'm going to urge all of you tonight, this is the last night. you don't have to leave anything in the tank. okay? there's nothing to leave in the tank for this week, okay? use it up tonight. >> chris, that's chris christie telling the delegates they really ought to cheer for mitt romney a lot what's your take on that, chris? >> well, i've never heard a candidate or a major keynoter -- it's the job of the keynoter to get the audience on its feet. he's the up, up man as they used to say in massachusetts politics. it's his job to be the warm-up act, to get people excited, off their butts if you will, for the candidate. he failed.
and now he's blaming the people who didn't get their butts off the seats. i miss this line in showbiz. it's easier to find new audiences than find new material. this guy needs new material. >> all right. andrea mitchell is on the aforementioned floor for us. chris christie is criticizing the level of volume on the floor saying people have not been cheering loud enough. what's the convention hall like to you right now and what are you expected ring tonight in the reception for mitt romney and what he's going to try to do with the speech? >> one of the things he's going to try to do is tell his story. he embraces his faith in a public way which he hasn't done very often until now. you're hearing from speakers out here that are mormon that will speak to that and speak to the way he ministered to people in his faith. i'm in the new mexico delegation where the governor susana had a
prominent role. he's going to talk about women. that's because the campaign knows it needs to narrow the gap between women, hispanics, youth, the young vote if they're going to win. that is what he's trying to do in a large part of the speech. and he's going to speak personally about his mother. he's going to talk about how his mother ran for the senate in 1970 and this is, of course, the excerpts that they've given to us to talk about at this hour. and in these excerpts he talks about how his mother -- he could still hear her say women could have as much to say about the way this great nation is run about the big decisions of the country as men. and that in that spirit, she would be so proud to see susana martinez and condoleezza rice and the other leaders, the rising republican stars. and frankly they have a lot of women to feature here. they have throughout this convention. you're going to hear others. of course the hispanic vote so important. marco rubio making that
introduction. so that is their big challenge to try to do something about the big disadvantage they face with the hispanic voters and women voters and to get more of the youth vote if he's going to narrow the gap. that is part of the speech. the language, rachel, a very sunny, very optimistic. almost reaganesque. and can he deliver is speech worthy of ronald reagan the great communicator? that's not been his past history. >> standing there in the new mexico delegation talk about the martinez speech last night. i saw on the air how kbrezed i was by that speech. she's largely unknown, but she hit 110% on that speech last night. i wonder, given those electoral challenges that the republicans are conscientious about needing to make up that ground with latinas in particular and the women vote, are you hearing any would da could da should da that they which susana martinez was
on the ticket? >> i don't think so. she's got a great personal story, she's a rising star, and has law enforcement experience. she is going to be a future national leader, they believe. but i don't think afterwhat happened with sarah palin they were not ready, the party was not ready to go with someone who has not tested on the national stage. i think they feel pretty good after paul ryan's speech. even though right away you and your colleagues there and all of us were doing a lot of fact checking. and that has been the second day story. where paul ryan was giving a powerful message, an exciting one to this floor. but whether they can sustain that with all of the embroidering and exaggerations and hyperbole to the fact checkers. that makes the debates important. first we've got to get through this speech. this is a big night for mitt romney.
>> absolutely. we'll talk about the second day reaction to the paul ryan speech as this hour goes forward. thanks. one thing that has been a little surprising in this convention so far is how the republican party has marketed itself this week. speech after speech after speech after speech as the party of the poor. we have no sound. trust me. republican party -- >> i do a good rand paul impersonation. >> can you? that's very good. the party this week talking about being the -- ann romney talking about being the descendant of coal miners, people talking about being descendents from single parents. >> rick santorum. >> saying they have been the first in their family to go to college. instead of talking in detail about the man they are about to nominate for president, they have been talking about up by the boot strap stories about other people. the man they are about to
nominate for president is richer than the combined peak lifetime wealth of richard nixon, gerald ford, jimmy carter, george bush, bill clinton, george bush, and obama times two. if you live up the lifetime wealth of all those presidents and double that amount, that is what the associated press estimates as the ballpark wealth of mitt romney. mr. romney built his fortune as the privileged and wealthy son of a michigan governor who was also the head of an auto company who also ran for president. his mother also ran for senate. it is a marvelous bit of stage craft to be nominating someone with that background and wealth and privilege and political pedigree by means of a convention which is about how we don't really do it that way in america. >> americans have known that one's status of birth is not a permanent condition. it does not matter where you
came from. >> america's greatest asset was that for the first time success was not based on who you were. >> it is a powerful counterspin to the reality that the republican party is nominating tonight a second generation presidential candidate. a fabulous wealthy fortunate son. we will hear the republican case tonight for how mr. romney made his fortune at bain capital. we will not hear that he and his proposed vice president are proposing an economic plan that would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern u.s. history. according to the center on budget and policy priorities. we'll have more on that with ezra klein later this hour. mr. romney is the only presidential candidate in modern times to have not disclosed who his major fund raisers are, his bundlers. and to have not released multiple years of his tax returns. and so, yeah, naturally there's a lot to be said about boot
straps and one's self and pulling, et cetera. but it is a striking and unexpected theme of this convention to be talking about poverty and social mobility with a candidate at the top of the ticket who represents the exact opposite of that. chris matthews, is it like this at every convention? is this the american dream boot strap story told every convention and it stands out more at this one because of who romney is? >> yeah. the 1% is by definition the 1%. you can't win the election with 1%. the republicans need the other 49 or 50% to win the majority. they can't say we're representing the people who we are economically. a lot of democrats, let's be honest about the contributors especially are wealthy people who get whacked by democratic tax policy, but they do it because they believe in the overall values of the democratic party. republicans support the self-interest of their tax brackets. but it's embarrassing when the tax bracket is based upon a
quarter billion dollars in net worth. so they don't want to admit that. there is an embarrassment here. they say they love success, that they think the democrats make fun of success. they deride it. and yet they are very sheepish about it. it's very interesting. they say it shouldn't be attacked but yet they rarely want to celebrate it. except in that vague word success and that's maybe the worst thing they say. if success means money, what a country. if success simply means money, great teachers are not successful, they don't make big bucks. a great anybody who's not rich isn't really successful by this definition unless they have big money. there's something very materialistic about it and very snotty about it really. about this thinking that unless you're really rich, you're not successful. and i think that's a problem they have they haven't quite come to grips with it. wealth is not popular. >> let me bring lawrence o'donnell into this. do we have lawrence available? >> yes, you do. >> lawrence, in terms of
romney's wealth and romney's almost unprecedented wealth as a candidate and how much there has been talk about poverty and social mobility at this convention, is that -- are they protesting too much and thereby drawing attention to mr. romney's wealth or is this something that's working? >> no, i think they know the romney picture is there already. it's indelible. it's this gigantic mountain of wealth. the more ways you find to try to describe it the bigger it seems. i like your combining all the lifetime wealth of the other presidents. it's a fascinating way to think about it. they know that's built in and that's why telling everyone else of what they can of up from their boot straps. and even paul ryan by any definition other than a romney definition was a rich kid, when paul ryan talks about i was waiting tables and i didn't feel stuck, that story is about a rich kid who did not have to
work for an income. but he was doing it. which is to his credit. and i'm very glad to hear he did it. and you know that mitt romney was sitting in the suite listening to that last night thinking why didn't i wait tables? i could have waited tables too. just like paul ryan. paul ryan's great grandfather was richer than my great grandfather. i could have waited tables. he didn't -- romney never once in his life did anything to in any positive way have the resume for tonight. not one thing. he just lived his life in pursuit of nothing but money and since leaving the active day to day 24-hour pursuit of money, he then has began in the 24-hour pursuit of political power. those are the only two things he's ever set out to do. >> i also think that one of the ways romney gets around this is he talks about his father and
grandfather. and the story of social mobility. we've seen that a lot through the campaign appropriating of the story of who came before you. >> i know a guy once that worked his way up. >> yeah. it's very strange. i do think that there is this problem of this caricature of mitt romney. just factually pure that he is richer than anyone who was president in recent memory. they have to make him relatable and i thought chris' point about success was so on the money. that word kept ringing out in a strange way in ann's speech. it was the euphemism they talked about wealth. they didn't say wealth, they said success. that is a very narrow definition. i'm curious how he handles that tonight. we're going to hear about his father, i guarantee you, and his grandfather and all that. we're probably going to hear about starting up the business and what that meant from the taking on risk and all that. trying to make himself relatable. i'm curious how he talks personally about his wealth and whether he does.
>> we saw them broach the issue last night via mike huckabee about how much he gives to charity. >> i think that this is a real piece of thin ice for the democrats in the big picture. i think the last thing they want to do is get caught vilifying success. mitt romney knows that he is in the umpteenth percentile in a class of his own. and from the working folk. he's got to make that connection if he's going to get elected president so he can realize their world somewhat. that's his big challenge. but on the other hand, the democrats i think have to champion success. we live in a capitalistic system. business runs this country. small business, mid-sized business, large size businesses. at each level every one of them succeeds or fails. what party can put forward the best plan to have everybody have
an opportunity to move forward in business? and elizabeth warren hit on this a little bit last night on this program. access to capital is huge. i want to hear mitt romney's plan tonight, what's his plan for helping the little guy. for the small business. what's his plan for getting those folks in the middle class who haven't seen their income go up very much in the last 30 years. back in 1971, it was 61% of the people in this country in the middle class. now it's at 51%. that fast track could change over the next few decades. >> i think that is actually what the subject of mitt romney's speech is going to be. we'll see if his answers please you, but those are exactly the questions he'll focus on. i've got to say. last night there were a number of good speeches, but the barn burner was delivered by vice presidential nominee paul ryan. but then as andrea alluded to earlier, the pushback from the nonpartisan press has been very tough. why that is and how that
perception might inform his night and the rest, that's coming up. maybe with sound about people talking about poor people now? maybe? we have that? maybe? >> my dad got his first job when he was six years old. >> my dad never finished high school. >> dad was a truck driver. >> dad grew up in poverty. >> my dad lost his job. >> mom also came from nothing. >> parents in a meat packing town. >> as a widow with seven children. >> basement apartment. >> in a tiny two bedroom house. >> pasta and tuna fish. >> working class. >> working class. >> came from nothing. >> she got on a bus. >> took three buses. >> every week day for years. >> every day to get to work. >> cleaning sheep pens. >> a poor farm boy. >> working on the railroad. >> a coal miner. >> mopping floors, waiting tables, tending bar. >> they both lived hard lives. >> paycheck to paychecks. >> 10 zlrs in their pockets. >> a teenager with nothing. not a penny.
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as we get ready for mitt romney's speech accepting the presidential nom name nation, there is something leftover from his running mate's speech last night. paul ryan gave a speech last night that was undeniably well written and delivered. mr. ryan is known as a good speaker, not a great one. but last night was pretty freaking great. the problem with paul ryan's speech is this. factual problems. no one has high expectations for truth telling in politics. but paul ryan had many obvious untrue things. factually untrue things that the headlines around the country looked like this. paul ryan hurting his own
credibility. the boston globe saying he strained credibility enough to damage his own not quite earned reputation as a straight shooter. the associated press headlining the factual shortcuts. paul ryan blames president obama for something that actually happened under president obama. -- president bush. errors noted by many in the times. the misleading speech from the washington post editorial who has generally been a big fan of ryan. nobody expects it to be gospel. people expect a baseline of stretching it. but paul ryan's speech had so many whoppers in it, the question looms ahead of mitt romney's speech tonight as to whether a political campaign can lie too much. whether the level of lying is crossing into something that is politically salient. for more on that we turn to chuck todd. we know you've been talking with the campaign about how they feel about the reaction to paul
ryan's speech last night. >> well, the one critique they're most sensitive about and they're fighting and pushing back is the issue of the gm plant in janesville. and they are arguing and fighting back at every one of saying wait a minute. this plant was scheduled to close before the president took office. they say yeah but it didn't close and stop making any stuff until the president took office. he promised that he would somehow restart janesville. he got what he wanted. but that's the only one they're fighting back on. they're not pushing back on the corrections, if you will, on bowles simpson. they're not pushing back on the corrections about the debt ceiling that everybody's been doing. they're not pushing back on those. here's why. i talked to a couple of people inside the campaign. they basically said you know, these fact checks, they're not having any impact on them. they're not seeing any impact, they're not seeing voters accept them and somehow digest them and
hold it against them. they think that they can sort of float past this, that the credibility of the media whether you have this argument that they are able to sort of attack the fact checkers, question a fact checker, get the base of their party, the activist base of their party to bomb, if you will, twitter bomb reporters, twitter bomb news media. they think they can float above this. and who knows? they may be right. i thought that was the most fascinating part. they think that the credibility of the overall media is so low right now and the idea that the media is more partisan in nature or polarized in nature that they think all of the fact checks have limited political impact on them for the fall campaign. >> chris, do you want to jump in on that? >> i think generally i would say you're right because of the power of the super pacs to pound home something that may be terribly erroneous. but i agree with you and i understand why they're pushing back on the plant closing. just like they were very smart
to run that first big ad about the need to build keystone. i thought that was tangible. the average woman or man saying that's real jobs. why didn't obama do that. that's tangible. isn't theoretical or macroeconomic. this plant closing, he's either telling the truth or he isn't. if he went out there on television last night and said that barack obama's responsible for that plant closing and the closing was announced on the reign or under the presidency of george w. bush, he told an untrue. and it's not hard to argue he did it on purpose. because he himself was involved in litigating trying to get that plant to stay open. i don't want to get you into trying to umpire this, chuck, but just on the politics of it, there is a reason why he has to win this fight. because if he loses this fight, he runs the risk of losing a lot of merit badges he came in with last night. >> well, that's right. that's his brand. right? that's the credibility brand that he wants to be thought of as the big idea guy. the guy that talks straight and will tell you about problems, tell you unpopular things.
and so you're right, chris. they are -- that is the one they're worried about. they're not worried about the others to go for the other reasons i said. but on that plant. gm announced -- we went through this whole timeline. i know you guys have done this too. gm announced it under bush. it was shut down then. the bailout -- it was announced when the shutdown was going to happen also under the bush administration after the president was elected but before he took office. yes, the final -- the plant actually shut down where it no longer produced anything in the first few months of the obama administration, but it was after it had already been scheduled to close. and the only argument now that the romney/ryan campaign is saying now the president got his auto bailout and was picking winners and losers, why didn't he make janesville a winner? >> this isn't a story where it's paper shuffling. here's $17 billion and this is
what obama did with it. the fact checkers here are the workers. they can tell you the day they got notice. they can tell you the last day they got a paycheck and they can tell you what it was like when they went home. this is a slam dunk for the obama team to come right back and today -- and i know that andrea mitchell very kind of dressed up the characterization earlier. cutter came out today and called it a lie. the obama team has no characterized this whole plant story as a lie. very seldom have we seen in political history that within hours after a major speech is given that the other competition comes out and says they're lying. >> it is a lie. i mean, i just showed on "politicsnation" the photo that day when they held up their sign saying this is the last suv going out. >> i just tweeted the picture now and there's a date on it. december 23, 2008. last vehicle off the janesville assembly line. >> we're arguing about whether they idled in the building. it was over.
the workers kissed and hugged each other good-bye. it was a lie. but here's a point this particular issue speaks to that we were talking to before i was trying to get into. what i think is really going to be a problem for them is they're tone deaf. we have to be careful about this. talking about success in this economy when people are trying to maintain, i mean, we're sitting around like we're going to pass out books of how to get rich and famous. people are trying to survive. people are saying can i keep my job? can i keep my health insurance? will i have my social security? they're not trying to get a new lexus. they're not trying to get successful. so people are looking at this saying what are you talking about? it's just like when they talk about government intervention. when you look at women, when you look at african-americans and latinos, talking about government intervention. we're trying to get the government to stop blocking us. it was government that was making us sit in the back of the
bus. it was government that took women's right to choose. so now you're telling us that government shouldn't be involved? if government wasn't involved, we wouldn't have been discriminated against. it was legal, everything they did to us. so i think that a lot of it is they're tone deaf to the reality of a lot of americans, white and black, who are not trying to get rich or successful. who are trying to survive the recession they caused. >> there is an interesting continuum on one side people worried about the sensitivities of rich people which maybe rich people are going to be talked about in a way that makes them uncomfortable and the sensitivities of other people never getting discussed. tonight is obviously poetry and big speech night. but tonight is also pros. and the pros, the policy as it were, has a stalker. and the stalker is named ezra klein. he's coming up next talking policy on what we will likely hear from mitt romney on economics and what it means. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the republican
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if mitt romney wins the white house, he will send to congress a man for some things to get cut, some things to get more spending. he will send a plan for whose taxes are going up and whose are going down. budgets run to thousands of panls. at this point romney has given little detail about his financial plan for the country. but have begun to piece it together. it's what we fight about it though we rarely fight about it with numbers attached. for that here's ezra klein. >> thank you. policy stalker? i wish i could tell you something nicer about mitt romney's budget than i'm about to tell you. he's the republican nominee for president, he's got a vision for the country. i'd like to tell you it's a viable one, but it's not.
that's not something i say about paul ryan's budget which is viable. if you follow romney's numbers all the way to the end, they just end up looking like a fantasy. on the spending side as you can see here, mr. romney says he will bring federal spending under 20% of the overall economy and cap it there by 2016. in practice, that amounts to a huge cut. over the next ten years it is a cut of almost $2 trillion more than is even in paul ryan's budget. so mr. romney's budget is way more severe on the spending side than mr. ryan's. and mr. romney says he will do that $7 trillion cut without touching medicare, without touching social security, and while increasing spending on defense by about a trillion dollars. it's like the ryan budget on steroids. here's what that means in actual raw numbers from the government. for mitt romney to keep his promise to limit spending he's have to cut every program that is not medicare, social security or defense by 57% by 2016.
i mean everything. medicaid, food safety, education, nasa, clean energy research, pell grants, transportation, all of it. everything else the federal government does. and there is no way he's going to cut all that by 40%. on the other side, mr. romney has his tax promises. he'll extend all the bush tax cuts and cut morningal rates on top of that by another 20%. if he just does that with no other changes and that's in his budget now, it's a huge tax cut. folks in the top 1% get $130,000 off their taxes in 2016. the federal government loses $5 trillion in revenue over ten years. and at the same time it's actually a small tax increase on the poorest americans because mr. romney lets a couple of stimulus tax breaks that are progressive expire. but mr. romney says none of that will happen. he says he'll pay for his tax breaks by closing loopholes and close them in such a way that the top 1% don't pay any less than they do now. so can he do that? no, he can't.
the tax policy center is a completely nonpartisan think tank. their director was top in the bush administration. they've run numbers on this. they satd these promises are quote, not mathematically possible to keep. it's straight arithmetic. there isn't enough money in tax breaks for the rich to pay for romney is promising them. he's got to either raise taxes on the middle class to cover tr the rich on add to the deficits. what is not an option is just doing what the budget promises say he will do. >> ezra, that is rather astonishing. i want to get actual reaction from chris matthews. i could see your face while you were watching there. you had your same look on your face as i did when it got to the part that it's not mathematically possible. i never expect a totally realistic promise. but it does seem further off
than things usually are, doesn't it? >> yeah. and i don't even think they try just like we were talking a few minutes ago about fact checking. it's like it's getting like the middle east. merely claiming something and it becomes biblically true. we're spending higher in gdp than normal because we've been in a recession. but when you ask the conservatives what they're going to do about it they say we're going to tax less. we're currently taxing 15% of gdp, spending 25%. any reasonable middle of the road person would say we should con verge on 20% spending, 20% revenues. that's called balancing the budget. you never hear the conservatives say the only way to balance is to bring up the revenue level to meet the 20% gdp spending level. from 15% to 20% to meet it. no. they say let's get rid of capital gains. let's cut the corporate rate. let's get rid of the estate tax
and keep the bush tax cuts permanently. and you say well that would probably take it down to about 12%. we would have a larger deficit. but nobody asks. nobody cares about the basic facts of our fiscal chaos right now which is there's no attempt to match revenues with spending. i would say to a conservative, only spend the money you're willing to raise in taxes or stop spending it. only tax what you're willing to keep the spending level to. they're not interested in the revenue side and not being honest about the spending side. there's not a lot of government spending you can cut without cutting the middle class, the very people you're trying to get to vote for you. >> ed shultz and chris hayes, in terms of the political power here. paul ryan pick meant we're supposed to talk about numbers. it has not gone that direction. >> i think romney's budget is engrained in a long-term philosophy that they have had for years, for decades.
they want to get rid of the new deal. this will starve the beast. this budget will starve the beast in their words. it will set the table for getting rid of a new deal. here comes a young conservative who will give a vision of own your own health care and retirement and education. it's your own society. so go do what you want. i think it connects with some of the stories of hey we've got a bunch of people at the republican convention that have talked about pulling up the boot straps. they made it. why can't you? be that american. i think it's the new deal and i think it's a fast track to a flat tax. that's what they want. >> here is the victory, though. in picking ryan. we're talking about actual projections on 2016. there is a fire raging throughout the country of joblessness. there is an absolute, all hands on deck emergency of wasted human capital that literally as we speak at this moment is declining.
the longer they're out of the workforce, the less their employable. what we're talking about because of paul ryan's entrance and this is the victory of his entrance is the projections of the federal budget in 2016 and 2020 and 2021. what we aren't talking about is how to get people back to work tomorrow which would increase deficit spending in the short-term. that has been completely removed from the table of possible options. >> and the paul ryan of 2002 which when george w. bush was doing stimulus spending in order to get people back employed would have argued exactly what you just argued. >> he voted for it. not just argue it. he voted everything that bush put out there that increased the deficit. so you're dealing with someone who did believe in a stimulus plan, two wars, and the tax cut who has now done the opposite. and when you have them -- whether it's lying about a plant
or lying about math that just doesn't add up, lying by any other name is lying. >> all right. coming up, we've got newt gingrich and callista gingrich addressing together. there's a reason but i don't know what it is. stay with us. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪
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the republican convention is now moving into the part that you can set your watch by. the patented trade marked count on it certainty that there will be a tribute to ronald reagan. first up tonight is a video about ronald reagan followed by a speech from newt and callista gingrich as the inheritors of the reagan legacy i guess. has been professionally reverse imagined by the party into a time of scandal free universal wonder. but in the real presidency there was a can zal. 14 administration officials were criminally indicted including reagan's secretary of defense. it was not a partisan which hunt. even republicans were disgusted
with the iran scandal. one georgia congressman at the time of the scandal said he will never again kb the reagan that he was before he blew it. he is not going to regain our trust and our faith easily. that georgia congressman was newt gingrich when ronald reagan was president and having some hard times and needing some support from his party. but tonight newt gingrich will deliver the i love ronald reagan speech. because why not? steve schmidt, you are an unrepresented republican on this panel and a realist. >> but we like you. >> we do. i've got to ask you. if the ronald reagan worship stuff a knowingly over the top or totally ironic. >> well, i just -- bad news for everyone here on the question of ronald reagan. the verdict is in on this. he's going to go down in history as a great american president. one of the great presidents of the 20th century. and i think arguably one of the two great presidents of the 20th
century. the other being a democrat franklin delano roosevelt who is probably one of the two greatest presidents the country's ever had next to lincoln. but ronald reagan in the totality of his presidency was a great president. and so he is the anchor of the republican party. he's the heart and soul. these are a time for some nostalgia. it was a time that people look back on of economic growth, of great foreign policy victories, the end of the cold war which he of course was the architect of. you know, four years ago as we were going through the primary process, there were so much reagan nostalgia on the stage in 2008 where you couldn't get through two minutes of the debate without somebody talking about ronald reagan. and the extent to which the reagan legacy prevented the party from projecting a vision forward into the future. you know, it wasn't a healthy thing. but i think you didn't see that legacy of ronald reagan hanging
over the primary process in 2012 like you saw it in 2008. so i think that ronald reagan is held up by the republicans across the country as an era of successful conservatism, a successful president. in some ways arguably the last successful president that we had although i think it's unfair to bill clinton who we'll see next week. i think that a lot of people including a lot of republicans are nostalgic for. at a time of peace and prosperity in the '90s. but he is a -- he makes people nostalgic for what people remember. >> we've got newt and callista gingrich who have been tasked with this tonight. let's listen. >> thank you. thank you for that warm welcome. what a wonderful tribute to president reagan and the spirit of the american people. >> it's fantastic to see so many friends here, friends from decades of service to the party,
service in public life. and those who have helped us over the past few years. and we are delighted that tonight we come together to once again renew the american spirit and put real leadership back in the white house this november. >> the election of mitt romney and paul ryan will decisively move america to a better future. remembering president reagan reminds us that the choices we make matter. and this year is as important as the choice we made in 1980. >> over three decades have passed since ronald reagan wases first elected to the white house, yet the impact of his leadership is still evident today. while in office, president reagan had three major goals.
to restore the economy, to revive the american spirit, and to defeat totalitarianism, spreading democracy throughout the world. >> by remaining true to his convictions, through his belief in the american people and with tremendous optimism, president reagan achieved these goals. >> it's striking how president carter and president obama both took our nation down a path that in four years weakened america's confidence in itself and our hope for a better future. >> both weakened the respect for america abroad. both increased government programs filled with waste and inefficiency that failed to produce results. both made promises they couldn't keep and as a consequence of
ineffective policies, both were unable to revive our economy and create jobs. >> for example, both crippled american energy production when there were better ways to develop and use our abundant energy resources. the romney plan for north america energy independence is exactly the kind of bold, visionary leadership reagan believed in and it is what we need now. >> the reagan presidency also teaches us that there is a better way to put americans back to work, create millions of jobs, and help every american achieve success. the reagan program of tax cuts, regulatory reform, and spending
controls worked. >> reagan's belief in small businessowners and entrepreneurs is a remarkable contrast with obama's class warfare rhetoric, massive deficits, and a passion for taxing those who create jobs. the romney plan for a stronger middle class has deep roots in ronald reagan's approach. >> reagan's commitment to reform welfare and to create a work requirement was a major achievement when he was governor of california. his pioneering work led to the historic welfare reform will congress and the president passed 30 years later. this bipartisan legislation reduced the size of government, made our country more competitive, and put millions of americans back to work.
>> tragically, president obama gutted this achievement and like jimmy carter, over four years, he produced little effective legislation that brought the two parties together in the interest of the nation. obama's waiving of the work requirements in welfare reform is just one example of his direct repudiation of president reagan's values. obama's proud of what he's done and of his politically motivated partisanship, but he should be ashamed for putting politics before people. >> governor romney will return america to work and to the principles that are at the core of president reagan's legacy.
this year, the american people will once again have an important choice to make. >> now, each of us must commit ourselves in the tradition of ronald reagan to come together. president reagan said, there is no substitute for victory. and this november we cannot settle for anything less. this -- [ applause ] this is the most critical election of our lifetime. each of us must do our part now to ensure that america remains in the tradition of president reagan a land of freedom, hope, and opportunity. thank you, and god bless you and god bless america. >> newt and callista gingrich together addressing the republican national convention.
if there were any barns burnt by previous speeches, those burned barns have now been magically reconstituted into fully functioning not at all burned barns. they're fine now. everybody's okay. that was amazing. is there -- is that format of giving a speech used anywhere other than the oscars and the gingrichs? >> no, but they do this -- they've been doing this for i think several years. i mean, this is the way they do speaking engagements. this is a thing. it's not just like for show here. the gingrichs give speeches together. >> telling people they had to get up and -- >> exactly. they let chris christie down on the floor down there. >> you know, it's the first time i've ever seen a keynote speaker had to demand a standing ovation. everybody get up. other than a rap concert, i've never seen it. >> the clip we showed earlier today looked like the line coach from montclair state college. didn't even look like a governor -- >> in all seriousness, i think
that, again, i hate to say how they lie, but president obama did not gut the work requirement for the welfare reform. they keep talking about things as they are fact when they are, in fact, the opposite of what was done. and, again, he operated on a request by two republican governors to allow them to innovate how they can move toward people working in this economy. >> and if you believe the beltway spin on this, it was newt gingrich who coined the term food stamp president for barack obama who talked mitt romney's campaign into using the welfare thing as a racial attack. >> and ronald reagan who created welfare queen who didn't exist. >> could i push the window of the acceptable boundaries here and say i think we should get rid of the work requirement on welfare. it hasn't been working in terms of the percentage of families that are poor. a lot of the eligibilities run through. it was predicated on a premise
of full employment that held true during the bubble in the late '90s and hasn't held during the recession. i do want to attack the president and everyone from the left, we should -- >> worth being attacked on that. >> i agree. i oppose the welfare reform bill in '96 when clinton proposed it. i'm saying president obama -- >> i know. i'm -- >> well to the right. >> that's correct. >> i'm mad at the president. >> which does not save him from being attacked. >> president obama is closer to steve on that. >> that's my point. >> all right. we are awaiting a speech from craig romney who is the youngest romney son. what is critically politically important about a potential speech from craig romney is craig romney speaks sometimes in spanish. he's fluent in spanish. has been doing spanish language ads for his dad. we don't know if this is going to be an appeal that's either in spanish or particularly directed at hispanic americans, but craig romney is due to be up shortly. can we go to this video? do we have this there?
>> hispanic american elected leaders are as diverse as our people. >> in recent years we have seen the election of three governors. >> the senator from florida. >> and a soon to be elected senator from texas. ted cruz. >> just in 2010 alone, all the new hispanics elected to congress in a wave of reform were republicans. >> and new faces are constantly emerging at the state and local level. >> inspiring examples of just how bright our future can be. >> for far too long, the hispanic community has been taken for granted by the other party. the hispanic community deserves -- >> and rightfully so expects much more than empty promises -- >> from candidates during election time. only to be forgotten once in office. >> it's not just about si se puedo. >> you deserve better. for the sake of our children and grandchildren, we must do better. i know how to revive the american dream. and my commitment to you is this. i will not let you down. >> hispanics are going to
continue to have a critical role in the future of the republican party. and together with mitt romney, hispanics will play a lead iing role in the coming american resurgence. >> as the marvelous american experiment continues to unfold -- >> our country will be further enriched -- >> by the leadership of the hispanic men and women who today form our party. >> and the new leadership to come. >> together. >> together. >> puntos. >> puntos. >> puntos. >> we can revive the american dream. >> this is the video that is introducing craig romney who is the youngest son of mitt romney, of course, has five sons. part of his speech we are told is going to be in spanish tonight. obviously making an appeal to latino voters. he has in previous ads talked about the fact mr. romney's own father was born in mexico. let's listen. >> i am honored and humbled to speak to you tonight. i'm incredibly proud of my father. and i love him dearly. it is my privilege to say a few words in spanish, so please bear
it's easy to forget that the story of my father's success begins with a story of two immigrant immigrants. thank you. my grandfathers who came to this country with little more than hope and the opportunity of america, through their hard work and perseverance, they lived the american dream. they gave opportunities to their children they wouldn't have had anywhere else. the republican party is dedicated to preserving that opportunity for all americans. we've had the privilege of hearing about different chapters of the same inspiring story from governor sandoval and martinez
and soon to be senator cruz. we're seeing this story play out in the lives of many other hispanic americans who have become leaders in the republican party and throughout our nation. these leaders along with hispanics across the country play a vital role in the romney/ryan comeback, as we fight to put america back on the path to prosperity. thank you. >> that was a cute presentation by the candidate's son and of course all the emotion of son to the father, all that is well and good. i don't think in speaking of we will not forget, i don't see how hispanic americans, even cuban-americans are going to forget that mitt romney throughout this campaign got to the far right of every primary debate and caucus debate on immigration. he supports basically the position of janet brewer last night on this program. from the floor of the convention. he supports, as a candidate, the
position that all the people in this country without documents should be removed from this country. all of them should go back to their country of origin with their children and grandchildren. all of them. that is the position of mitt romney. it is not a compromise position. it's not a forward leaning position like george w. bush who said there must be a compromise. it's not the position of the late ted kennedy or chuck schumer or anybody else like lindsey graham in the party who have tried to find a compromise with good enforcement and fairness in terms of who's here already. rachel, it's an astounding position for a candidate to basically say to an entire community, go away. and that's the position of romney. despite this son being able to speak some spanish. >> well, the thing that is remarkable on the policy, too, chris, is that mr. romney early on, pete wilson, the former governor of california known for prop 187 out there, known as the original republican hardliner against home the george w. bush wing of the party was sort of
carved out as one of his original immigration guys. he picked chris cobach in '08 and '12 who wrote the papers please law in arizona. just the other day, chris cobach after leading the republican convention and putting into the platform the idea that papers please ought to be encouraged across the country, then left to go sue the obama administration over president obama's move to keep dream act kids in the country legally. there could not be a more hardline position, it's a tancredo-esque campaign from romney on this subject. they're hoping, i think, that language helps them anyway. let's listen in to jeb bush now. >> thanks. thank you. welcome to florida.
thank you. before i begin my remarks, i have something personal i'd like to share with you. i've been so blessed to be part of a family that has committed its life to public service. my grand dad, my grandfather, and my father have been incredible role models for me and served our country honorably. and my brother, well, i love my brother. he is a man of integrity, courage, and honor. and during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe.
so mr. president, mr. president, it is time to stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policies. you were dealt a tough hand, you were dealt a tough hand, but your policies have not worked. in the fourth year of your presidency, a real leader would accept responsibility for his actions and you haven't done it. now -- now that i've gotten that off my chest, let's talk a little bit about our kids and education. this election is about the future of this nation. we can shape that future with what we do here. with what we do on november 6th. we can restore america's greatness. that starts with a strong
econo economy, a smart energy policy, lower deficits and a president who puts america's workers and job creators first. but to have a great future, a secure future, a future that is equal to our potential as a nation, we need to do something else. we must make sure that our children and grandchildren are ready for the world we are shaping today. it starts -- [ applause ] it starts in our homes. in our communities. and especially in our schools. as a candidate and governor, i visited over 400 florida schools. i saw children read for their first sentences. solved their first long division problems. explore the miracles of chemistry and physics. that's the essence of education. students getting a chance at a future. there are many reasons to believe america's future is bright, but also reasons to worry. of 34 advanced nations in the
world, american students rank 17th in science, 25th in math. only one-quarter of high school graduates are ready for their next steps. china and india produce eight times more engineering students each year than the united states. this is a moral cost to our country, our failing schools need to be fixed. we say that every child in america has an equal opportunity, but tell that to a kid whose classroom learning isn't respected, tell that to a parent stuck at a school where there is no leadership. tell that to a young talented teacher who just got laid off because she didn't have tenure. the sad truth is that equality of opportunity doesn't exist in many of our schools. we give some kids a chance but not all. that failure is the great moral and economic issue of our time, and it is hurting all of
america. i believe we can meet this challenge. we need to set high standards for students and teachers and provide students and their parents the choices they deserve. the first step is a simple one. we must stop pre-judging children based on their race, ethnicity or household income. we must stop excusing failure at our schools and start rewarding improvement and success. we must have high academic standards that are benchmarked to the best in the world. you see, all kids can learn. governor romney believes it and the dad approves it. while he was governor, massachusetts raised standards and today their students lead the nation in academic performance.
here in florida in 1999 we were at the bottom of the nation in education. for the last decade, the state has been on a path of reform. under the leadership of governor rick scott and local leaders, our focus every day is whether students are learning. that's it. today, more students are reading on grade level, passing rigorous college prep courses and graduating from high school. and perhaps most exciting, those traditionally left behind are showing the greatest gains. among african-american students, florida is ranked fourth in the nation for academic improvement. among low-income students, we're ranked third for our gains. among students with disabilities, we're ranked first. and among latino students, the gains were so big they require a new metric. right now, florida's fourth grade hispanic students read as
well or better than the average of all students in 21 states and district of columbia. these kids -- these kids were once written off, but today thanks to teachers like sean duffy, we're changing that. >> i'm honored to be an educator, to help the next generation of leaders, thinkers, builders and entrepreneurs. sadly, i'm part of a dwindling field. i've seen too many good teachers come and go, mainly due to poor working conditions and little pay. bad teachers get locked into the system and good teachers leave for more money. on top of the bureaucratic challenges, what we're teaching doesn't always match what our students actually need. to that end, i helped launch a
stem lab at my high school. these labs focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and help students learn proficiency in these fields. we turn students away from education each year by not providing a robust curriculum that helps keep -- that keeps up with the world in which these students live and will eventually work. and at the end of the day, all of what we do from the educators to the policymakers has to be student focused and student centered. after all, students matter most, and that's what counts. thank you. >> thank you, sean. i know that the high school is proud of your efforts and we need more great teachers like you. teachers who don't give up on a kid. who recognize that every child can learn. and don't waste a precious year of a student's life.
if you're a great teacher and your students are mastering their subjects, no matter your age or years of experience, you should have a job. education is hard work, but if you follow some core principles and you challenge the status quo, you can get great results. so here's another thing we can do. let's give every parent in america a choice about where their child attends school. look, everywhere, everywhere in our lives we get a chance to choose. go down any supermarket aisle and you'll find an incredible selection of milk. you can get whole milk, buttermilk, 2% milk, low-fat milk, or skim milk, organic milk, and milk with extra vitamin "d." there's flavored milk, chocolate, strawberry or vanilla and it doesn't even taste like milk. they even make milk for people
who can't drink milk. so my question to you is, shouldn't parents have that kind of choice in schools? the best meets the needs of their students? governor romney gets it. mitt romney gets it. he believes parents, regardless of zip code or income, should be able to send their child to the school that fits them best. that has set him up since entrenched interests. there many people who say they support strong schools but draw the line at school choice. sorry, kid, giving you equal opportunity would be too risky. and it would upset powerful political forces that we need to win elections. i have a simple message for these masters of delay and deferral. choose. you can either help the politically powerful unions, or you can help the kids.
now, for those that have been involved in this, you know it's hard to take on the unions. they fund campaigns. they're well organized. election day, they'll show up. meanwhile, the kids aren't old enough to vote, but you and i know who deserves a choice. governor romney knows it, too. let me introduce you to frans. because we gave him a choice, he got a great election. >> i grew up in the inner city of miami in a place where your zip code determines your chances of success. my only options was an unproductive and failing school. i knew that could lead to an unproductive and failing future. thanks to governor bush's for-choice program, i got a
chance to choose a better school. making my education my priority, i enrolled at one of the toughest high schools in miami, archbishop curley notre dame. i'm sure like a lot of us, it was my mother, carlette, who really pushed for a choice in my education. i'm glad she did. her devotion to my future has given me a chance to succeed. i've graduated from wagner college and looking forward to a life of learning and serving my community. who knows what the future would have held if i didn't have a choice in my education. but i do know the numbers for failure, and i probably wouldn't have a good chance. governor bush's school-choice program gave me a chance to achieve academic success in a school that was best fit for me.
i took it from there. thank you. >> thank you, frantz. it is an incredible honor to see you grow up and frantz's story and many others is a driving force across this nation to bring about necessary change. and some of the biggest reformers are republicans. governor mitch daniels in indiana and bobby jindal in louisiana have expanded school choice beyond what we have here in florida. governor martinez in new mexico is raising expectations, holding schools accountable for students gaining critical reading skills. governor la page in maine and diel in georgia transforming education by pushing schools to harness technology and learning. governor otter and student luna are raising up the best teachers and separating out the ineffective ones. that earned them some enemies.
some of them slashed the superintendent's tires but he didn't back down. governor scott walker in wisconsin led his state -- [ applause ] governor walker led his state to adopt reforms that promote early literacy and require that teacher evaluations incorporation student achievement. in nevada, governor sandoval pushed for reforms to end the damaging practice of last in, first out, where teachers are hired or fired based on their years in the system, not their impact in the classroom. governor hazlem in tennessee is making sure every classroom has an effective teacher. because he is a former governor, mitt romney understands that states must lead this national movement. in massachusetts, governor romney narrowed the gap between students of different races. raised testing standards and put into place a merit scholarship. the john and abigail adams
scholarship that gives students four tuition-free years at any massachusetts public institution of higher learning. he is a champion for bringing hope to education. and he intends to be a champion for equality of opportunity, a president who always puts students first. so in this election, remember this. our future as a nation is at stake. fact is, this election is not just about one office. it's about one nation. if we want to continue to be the greatest nation on the planet, we must give our kids what we promise them, an equal opportunity. that starts in the classroom. it starts in our communities. it starts where you live. and it starts with electing mitt romney the next president of the united states. thank you.
god bless you. god bless our excellent teachers. and god bless the united states of america. >> former florida governor jeb bush. i spoke at a high school here in tampa yesterday, rachel, and it is an amazing challenge down here in florida. i've never seen such diversity. the classroom i was in had 200 kids from all over the world. south asia, latin america, everywhere. an amazing challenge. i have to give this governor, the former governor, credit. he's not a man of great bragging rights. he sticks to education. it's his one area he's focused on. he's not like his brother, w., who had grand notions of himself. he's humble, he's focused on one thing. i think it's where the left and right can agree and condi rice certainly rang the bell last night rather well. education is the civil rights issue of the future. we have to win this fight. the fact we're so far down on the totem pole right now worldwide in terms of math and science and general education is the challenge i think. it's one thing the two parties
could agree on in principle. how we deal with the teachers union is a problem. especially a problem for the democratic party. i live in washington, d.c. i have to say, randy weingarten has not done a great job for our city. we've lost the best superintendent we ever had in education and the school teachers have to explain that. i think this is something we can argue about. i think jeb bush made a very powerful statement on behalf of quality education tonight. >> you've got a debate, you've got a fight brewing here with my friend ed schultz and with al sharpton. >> i expected i would. >> chris, the six governors that were elected in 2010 have clearly gotten together and attacked public education and cut no less than $800 million, up to $1 billion in wisconsin out of education and ran a lot of good educators out of the business because they thought they were getting paid too much. they attacked their benefits, attacked their days off, atta attacked their training. attacking teachers is the
philosophy of how to make things better in america when it comes to the republicans. >> ed, nobody attacked teachers. no one attacked teachers. >> no, they are, chris. they're going after how much money they make. >> who attacked teachers? who did that? jeb bush, if you listened, just came out for higher pay for teachers. >> no. no. that's rhetoric. none of these six republican governors that i'm talking about, chris, are advocating any pay raises for any of these teachers. they want the old experienced teachers out and they want to get the young cheap ones in place. that's their mission. >> oh, i see. the primary concern is the teachers who have been around a long time, want to keep their jobs -- >> you never had any age teachers -- >> chris, in all fairness, the tenure reform that we've seen in new jersey that was praised by chris christie, negotiated by randy weingarten and the teachers union. what we see is what this president obama has done, is what you said about bipartisan. he got newt gingrich to go on a
five-city tour to talk about their education as a civil right. so i think this is something we can come together on, but there are those who want to privatize education for personal gain that are not concerned about the students. i think what jeb bush is doing in florida can be studied but i think there are some that have taken it way over the line to privatization and union busting and there's a difference between union busting and privatization and education reform. that's education deform using rhetoric and really trying to do a political agenda at the expense of the kids. >> there are a lot of people out there who live in tough neighborhoods, mothers especially, who will jump at any chance for an opportunity of scholarship, any chance for a better education for their children than the local public school. >> what happens to the children -- what about the other children? >> every neighborhood has a lock on the market on a scholarship, chris. >> they want a better life for their children. >> what about the other children? why do we have to select some children and leave others? why don't we build a system that
all children -- government's job is not for some children to get out. it's to lift everybody up. >> it's, where is the republican party on education? that's the question. >> opportunity and competition. not by stifling the hopes of kids in terrible neighborhoods, putting them in terrible schools. there's not a person watching right now who doesn't want his or her child to go to the best possible school. >> let me let chris -- >> neighborhoods, i don't want to be the kid left in the neighborhood. you can't talk about choice and you know you're only talking about a certain pool, a small percentage who have a choice. that is not a choice. that is saying we're going to take some tokens out and not deal with the real education problem. >> i don't think you'd call a kid who applied for a scholarship a token. i'd call that a merit, a kid who won a merit, an opportunity for better education. >> chris, can i say this? what's striking to me is this quality of opportunity rhetoric is what we hear about this. right? america offers equality of
opportunity, not equality of outcome. as equality of outcome expands massively in america, right, inequality is growing, we put more and more pressure. we say the only institution in american life that's supposed to fix the iunequainequality is th education system. the inequality grows and grows and grows. the education system, do more and more and more to fix it. if you're committed to equality, how does cutting schip, cutting medicaid, cutting food stamps for kids, cutting the entire universe of redistributed services for those kids, provide the quality of opportunity? >> all right. this is a historic night and this is a -- sorry, chris, i'll let you have the last word. >> i'm not with the teachers union on this. i have to say. this is one time i break with labor, ed, and with you. i'm sorry. >> well, i think you're wrong and i also think that teachers and unions fit -- they only go into that classroom for the very best in mind for that student and to make sure that they hold school districts accountable to resource every child.
the one thing great about public education in this country is when the door is opened, everybody's welcomed. the rich, the poor, the affluent and the gifted and the challenged. but that's changing on the republican plan. that's what america needs to know. >> all right. this is a historic night in american politics. not just because msnbc is having awesome intra-msnbc fights about really substantive issues by really well informed people which is the whole reason i w t wanted to be in television in the first place and makes me happy. not only that, the republican tikd being nominated tonight is different from any ticket nominated in the country. the republican ticket is breaking a glass ceiling tonight. the romney/ryan campaign is about to put the spotlight on what they're doing that's never before been done. it's about religion. it's coming up in just a moment. this is new. they've never talked about it this openly before. it's coming up. msnbc's live coverage of the republican convention is coming up.
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welcome back to msnbc's live coverage of the republican national convention. grant bennett is the next speaker. grant bennett is a former bishop of the mormon church in boston, massachusetts. grant bennett is speaking now. are we able to dip into this? here it is. >> i have been blessed to spend thousands of hours over many years with a dear friend and remarkable man named mitt romney. these wonderful, even glorious hours together, were spent in serving our fellow men and women. they were spent in service in our church. we embraced christ's admonition
in as much as he had duneth onto one the least of which my brethren, he have done it unto me. the church of jesus christ of latter day saints of which we are members has an unpaid lay clergy, while raising his family and pursuing his career, mitt romney served in our church devoting 10, 15, and even 20 hours a week doing so. like all mormon leaders, he did so on his own time and at his own expense. i was mitt's assistant when he was our pastor. i had a front row seat, and it
was marvelous to behold. as we began working together, mitt asked, how early can i call you in the morning? i answered, 6:00 a.m. i regret my answer. mitt romney became my alarm clock. a typical morning call, grant, it's mitt. i'm at the airport. a trip last night and bruised her hip. please visit her this evening. give her my love. i'll arrange for meals and i will visit her on my way home from the airport tomorrow. in our early morning calls, mitt didn't discuss questions of theology. he found the definition of religion given by james in the new testament to be a practical
guide. pure religion is to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction. so what specifically did mitt romney do as our pastor? for one or two evenings each week and several hours every weekend, week after week and year after year, he met with those seeking help with the burdens of real life. burdens we all face at one time or another. unemployment. sickness. financial distress. loneliness. mitt prayed and counseled with church members seeking spiritual
direction. single mothers raising children. couples with marital problems. youth with addictions. immigrants separated from their families. and individuals whose heat had been shut off. >> these are remarks from grant bennett, former bishop of the mormon church in boston, massachusetts, saying he served essentially as an assistant to mitt romney when mitt romney was the pastor of their congregation in the boston area. you know, this is the first time in american history that a major political party is nominating a ticket on which neither the presidential nominee nor the vice presidential nominee is a protestant. paul ryan, of course, is catholic, and mitt romney is a member of the church of jesus christ of latter day saints. alex wagner is here to report on the ways in which religion is manifesting itself at the convention and in the race for president. >> the rnc paid attention to religion over the last three days and not just the
evangelical base. last night, singh became the first sikh american to give an invocation. the most anticipated religious moment of the week by far happens tonight when mitt romney and several mormon leaders and congregants take to the stage to speak onnen openly. team romney's recent and rapid u-turn on the subject of mormonism, something their candidate has remained so silent on that more than 40% of the country does not know mitt romney is a mormon or thinks he practices another religion entirely. according to senior adviser eric furnstrom, it was romney who insisted on talking about it. though his running mate paul ryan said last night their faiths share a royal creed, and huckabee said mitt romney's religion would not sway his vote. despite the fact that perhaps more than anything else the mormon church has been the organizing principle in his life.
at 21 years old, it sent him to france as a missionary, an experience he says was pivotal in helping him understand and define what he believed, what was the truth. in the 1980s, romney served as a bishop in the church, eventually the pastor of a congregation. and several years later he became a president, a leader who oversees several congregations in a specific area much like a diocese. the 2010 tax return and 2011 estimate released by romney's campaign showed he donated the not insignificant sum of $4.1 million to the mormon church over those two years alone. tonight, three figures from romney's religious life fill in the nominee's personal history. the night began with a prayer by ken hutchins, a fellow mormon stake leader and longtime friend. two members of romney's congregation share personal stories relating to romney's time as a church leader including grant bennett who we just heard from. breaking his silence on mormonism, romney is following in the footsteps of his father,
george, but at a slower pace. running for president 40 years ago in an era when being catholic was still considered controversial, george romney invited the entire press corps to hear him give a sermon at a mormon church meeting, and even answered questions relating to mormon undergarments. tonight, his son is expected to finally publicly embrace the mormon religion as the republican presidential nominee. >> alex, thank you for that. chris, in terms of the political calculation here, was this a necessity for the romney campaign? i mean, the way that alex laid it out there, it sort of seems like they have a choice whether or not to do this. most of the country or at least 41% of the country doesn't know that he is mormon or thinks that he is some other religion by talking about this openly, by putting it really in primetime, putting it out in this way, they have made a commitment to talk about this and not let it be as quiet as it has already been. did they have to? >> i don't know. i think that's one of the open questions. i don't have the answer. i'd like to think i know a lot of answers but not that one. i think, though, they must
believe, because it's true, that the communetarian values of the mormon religion, the lds church, are really something to brag about. they do take care of people. they to have relief society. they do tithe. they look out for each other. i have to say in interest of fairness, one, we have no religious test for public office in this country. i deeply believe in that fact. i also think democrats have to beware here, when udall ran for president, this never came up. harry reid, wayne owens, my former bosses that brought me into politics were mormon and it never came up as an issue. i don't think it should come up as an issue. i think religious should not be mentioned in a political square. give everybody a chance to believe what they believe, especially because, this is the fact nobody wants to admit. we're basically the religion of our parents. it's our legacy in grows up in america. we generally accept the religious faith of our parents. we don't go around shopping for religions. and for us to be judged by the religion we were ascribed to is
totally aloerroneous. we're born to it like an ethnic group in many ways. it's really unfair to judge a person by the religion they were brought up in, special lespecia democrats never did it to their own and the constitution could not be more clear. no religious test, period. if mitt wants to talk about it tonight, good for him, because i think there are some very good things in the mormon religion he can talk about. >> it is interesting this is something the democrats haven't brought up at all. i don't think anybody thinks the democrats would raise the issue about questioning him about his religion or affiliated beliefs with his religion. it came up a little bit against ted kennedy in 1994 when the kennedy campaign hit mitt romney essentially for the civil rights position of his church, for the mormon church having not accepted african-american members into the priesthood, into full participation in the church until very late. that's as a civil rights issue came up. other than that, this has only been brought into the public sphere by mitt romney, himself.
i want to ask steve schmidt, if you feel like bringing this up is part of a way to maybe bridge some of the -- any perceived gap between mitt romney and evangelicals who may have hard feelings about mormonism? >> i don't think it has to do with bridging a gap. what i think it has to do with is revealing himself and his character to the american people. david brooks a few weeks ago on "meet the press" referred to mitt romney as a hidden man. i think he has a reputation as being hidden because this part of his life which is so important has been totally obscured from the american people. john mccain in 2008 didn't like necessarily talking about his experiences as prisoner of war. you cross that bridge as a presidential candidate the day you announce. the notion that you can protect a sphere of privacy is totally naive. when you announce for president, the american people demand to know who you are at your core. it's important they do. the presidential campaign prepares you for a job that's
very difficult to prepare for. it's the strangest character test that, you know, has ever been devised by man. but the exercise of trying to gain support for your cause is necessary that the president ultimately has the ability to demonstrate an ability to do that to unite the nation if a crisis comes. and that's what this is all about. so tonight mitt romney's going to let us in a little bit more to who he really is. and i think that as you've heard some of the people talk to him that the obama campaign, which i think has been very effective at turning him into a cartoon character over the course of the summer, that this is a person who has led an exemplary life in many, many ways and we're going to get to see a window into that tonight and i think that's politically good for mitt romney. >> let me grab the third rail a little bit on this, though. when it's not politicians being attacked for their religion, it's not a matter of prejudice. when they are bringing up their religion on those kind of terms you're talking about in order to
flush out their ethical soul for the purpose of you judging their viability as a candidate, do the candidates essentially also bring their church's political positions into the political arena? i mean, the mormon church has been a very, very active political player. the catholic church has been a very, very active political player. when these candidates are talk about their church affiliation as something that makes them worthy of servings aren't they bringing their church into the public sphere when those churches have been political actors? >> it can't been on a partisan basis, rachel. i totally agree on this with chris. you have harry reid and mitt romney who are mormon and it came up in '08. some of us question the civil rights of it. i went out to salt lake city and met and seen a lot where they're trying to outreach on this. i do not think we should have religious tests for anyone. >> of course. >> i think it is a healthy thing for romney to bring this up and deal with this. on this one, i think matthews is absolutely right. i think it's a healthy thing. whatever his motive is. i don't think we ought to have
religious bias in the country on either side. i wish we had had that on all sides. >> i think the political advantage here in telling the story about his mormonism, i really agree with steve, is one of the images of mitt romney that came out this summer is he's an out of touch plutocrat, epitome of social distance between people who run our country and everybody else. what we're hearing are stories of when he's embedded in the mormon church, interacting with people who don't have jobs, who are single moms, who are sick, that's a way of talking about he's not out of touch when out of touchness is the prime attack on him. >> we have more from the floor of the "tampa bay times" forum coming up as anticipation is building obviously toward the biggest moment in mitt romney's public life. it's coming up on msnbc's live coverage of the republican convention. please stay with us. [ chirps ]
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on every tempur-pedic and serta icomfort. but hurry, this special financing offer ends labor day. ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ nbc's chuck todd is on the convention floor where i'm told he just spoke to a very high profile republican who was not supposed to be at this event this week. somebody who's been keeping a very low profile because he wasn't supposed to be there. chuck, who have you found? >> reporter: we are talking about massachusetts republican senator scott brown who, of course, one of the stars of the party just a couple of years ago
nationally. decided that he wasn't going to play a formal role at the convention but he was here making the rounds. i began by asking him why he was trying to keep such a low profile. >> walking around saying hi to all the different states and getting to know people. it's a military duty that i have to every year. i've been in 32 years. i'm glad to be here. honored to be here to see somebody from massachusetts who has an opportunity to become the president of the united states. that's a big deal. regardless of your party. to have somebody from our state here with that opportunity. so glad to be here. >> reporter: given the way it was reported, is it fair to interpret that you didn't want to be seen as too high profile of a speaker if you did -- >> i have obligations as a dad, as a husband, as a soldier, and as a senator. i'm running for re-election. there's only so many days in the year. and, you know, i was at the pentagon doing my duty, as i, you know, do quite regularly. and i'm here now and i'm honored to be here. walking around and seeing
everybody. saying hi. it's been kind of cool. >> reporter: do you believe governor romney will be an asset to you being at the top of the ticket in november? >> i really don't think about it that much. people know who i am. what i've been doing. i've done exactly what i said i was going to do, be that independent voter and thinker. second most bipartisan senator in the united states senate. 54% with my party. the contrast between professor warren and many, she wants to be a self-proclaimed rock thrower and leave blood and teeth in the street, people understand the differences. i'm going to stand on my own merits. >> reporter: are you comfortable with the tone so far of this convention? >> yeah, you know, it's a convention. i think everybody understands it's a convention. you know, some of the things, it's not my style how i would do things, but i'm not running for president. you know, i'm scott brown. i drive a truck with 238,000 miles on it. i'm going to be myself. and i understand, i think people understand around the country that these conventions are meant to kind of, you know, shock people sometimes. i thought the tone has been pretty balanced. i've enjoyed listening to
senator thune and senator mcand and people i actually know. senator portman. condoleezza rice. mrs. romney. because i know them. it was nice to see them under pressure. >> reporter: there is no question who you're supporting in the presidential -- >> no, i was one of the first guys to come out and endorse him way back. it would have been news the other way. i know midstt, what he did in massachusetts. we were in a $3 billion structural deficit. he came in at a time we needed him most. our credit rating had been downgraded. not only when he were done we had a balanced budget, had our credit rating increased and became open for business again. that's a good thing. >> reporter: what are the -- there are two or three issues. a voter comes up to you, what are the biggest differences between you and mitt romney? >> i'm pro-choice. he's pro-life. back when we were dealing with the stem cell bill, i overruled him there. on the emergency contraception bill. we're pretty much in steps when it comes to the economic issues facing our state and our
country. people know the differences back home. >> reporter: there are 300,000, approximately, president obama voters that senator scott brown has to win over if he's going to win re-election. so rachel, as you can tell, that seemed to be on the foremost of his mind when he was answering every single question i asked. >> yeah, to say the least. he was like a bug that was still alive while you were pinning it to your exhibit table. i've never seen somebody squirm like that under your totally straightforward questioning, chuck. that was astonishing. thank you. >> reporter: okay. >> amazing. i'm just here for some other reason. i'm not -- i'm not here for the republican convention. yeah, i'm into mitt romney because regardless of your party, hey, he's from massachusetts? please don't report that i'm a republican. just scott brown. you're amazing. all right. this is mitt romney's fourth big campaign for office. fourth time he has presented himself to voters. and just how does mitt romney 4.0 compare with the previous three versions? how many of the previous three
versions are the democrats going to bring back to run against the current romney-bot? that data plus the big speeches and visits from the floor of the convention hall all when we come back. this is msnbc's live coverage of a convention that may or may not be an actual republican event depending on whether or not you're asking senator scott brown. if you have copd like i do, you know how hard it can be to breathe and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms
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three days before the scheduled start of this republican convention, this op-ped ran in the "wall street journal." title "what i learned at bain capital by mitt romney." that's how mitt romney attempted to set the stage and the media before the biggest political event of his life. although mr. romney at various times has tried to run for office on the basis of his business career, its use as a political asset for him is at least balanced out by the time it has been used against him. in mr. romney's first run for elected office, his senate run against ted kennedy in 1994, bain was a large part of why mr. romney lost that race. ted kennedy's ads showed middle class workers who lost their jobs, lost their health insurance, lost their pensions because bain capital took over
their company and because of the way bain behaves thereafter. bain capital is how ted kennedy beat mitt romney in 1994. bain capital is also how most of mr. romney's republican opponents ran against him. the last time he ran for president in 2008. >> we're looking for a presidential candidate who reminds them more of the guy they work with rather than guy that laid them off. >> right. and i think the -- >> mike huckabee gave mitt romney his full throated endorsement last night, but as you saw there from 2008, mike huckabee and other republicans who have run against mitt romney have just spent years attacking him on the basis of his work at bain. >> i will suggest they're just vultures. they're vultures that are sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick. and then they swoop in. they eat the carcass.
they leave with that. and they leave the skeleton. >> look, i'm for capitalism. i'm for people who go in to save a company. i'm for people who take real risks. if somebody comes in, takes all the money out of your company and leaves you bankrupt while they go off with millions, that's not traditional capitalism. >> bain capital was how newt gingrich beat mitt romney in south carolina this year. the superpac that was supporting mr. gingrich at the time bought and released this long anti-bain documentary called "when mitt romney came to town." mr. romney and the republicans are using tonight to tell bain capital's success stories. bain failures in the cases where bain and romney themselves got rich because they brought ruin on lots of regular working people, those stories have been a powerful political tool that has been used against mr. romney for the better part of two decades now in races at all levels of public service. it's been used against him even by fellow republicans to pretty strong effect. the letter to turn bain from a
four letter word back into an asset tonight is somewhat amazing to watch. chris, they went deliberately after the issue of mr. romney's faith in the last hour. in the next hour they are going deliberately at the issue of mr. romney's business career in a way that's mostly been defined by his opponents, most recently by the obama campaign. what do you think he needs to do on the issue of bain? >> this is a tough one. here ed and i are going to agree completely i think. i think the american people, rightly or wrongly, love people that create jobs. really create jobs. not just get tax breaks but go out there and create and build up american motors and create jobs with compact cars that people didn't have a chance to buy until they came along. he put at compact cars at the time everybody's buying chryslers with big fins and that stupid stuff. he said, no, here's a practical car. put people to work. created a whole company. american motors. people like steve spielberg, they like movies. they like steve jobs, henry ford, thomas edison. guys who make money off money have always had a hard time in
american life, whether they're bankers back east, or whatever. they think of them as gordon gecko. of course, michael douglas' character in the movie "wall street." they think of guys who come in in the republican ads or just come in and make money off people. chop shop a place where some guy built it up, take over, leave the guy with a minimal payment and chop shop the place and leave it with nothing and fire a bunch of people or go into a company and streamline it. that's their word for it. cut out middle management, streamline it, sell it, flip it, make money and the company dies two years later. that's the image, fair or not, that mitt romney's overcome. his dad never had to explain why he built cars. people loved guys who biuilt cars, men that built cars. he has to explain why he made so much money and can't point to anything he's ever built. that's his challenge. >> they're going to try -- >> people have a reasonable view of this. you can be rich if you've done something. >> they're going to try it tonight, try to make it, sort of brick and mortar him up tonight in matter of speaking by
bringing on the guy from staples to talk about staples as one of few companies that sort of came into existence mostly because of bain's playing essential ly a venture capital role with them which isn't most of what they did. they're really going to play that up to make it more relatable. >> i think this story has got some very toxic tentacles to it because what has mitt romney done with that wealth? he's put it overseas. and he's massaged the tax system as best to his advantage. you know, this is also an issue about personal philosophy. those of us in this country who have been fortunate enough to have a good job and to have a good life and to enjoy some success, what's the philosophy of that? is it to just take it and put it overseas? or is it to take it and move forward and try to create opportunities for other people in our economy? and i think that part of what mitt romney has to do tonight is talk about his personal philosophy of finance. give us an idea of what you believe you should be doing with
this wealth to help create jobs. just to go in and say, hey, i was with some businesses and some of them failed and some of them were successful and some of them weren't, wait a minute. bain capital had a reputation of going in to healthy businesses, loading them up with debt, taking people's retirement, and hitting the trail and only a few people at the top come away looking really, really good financially. and, oh by the way, a lot of that money ended up overseas. i don't think a average americans buy that. that this is going to be a hard sell for mitt romney tonight. but beyond that, i'd like to know what his real philosophy is about rising everybody in the harbor when it comes to business. what opportunities is he going to put on the table for the little guy? talk to the small business guy who's got 10 or 11 employees that has to deal with wsi, you know, workforce safety, that has to deal with state taxes and federal taxes and regulations. and i do agree with the republicans on some things about regulations. i think the democrats need to
look forward a little bit on how to help small business and regulations. but these are things, what i'm pointing out is, who's mitt romney? where is he on this stuff? this is the perfect opportunity to do it because president obama is not going to give him an opportunity to it in a debate. >> he will try to say his career in finance taught him everything he needs to know about small businesses. >> here's the irony about the career of mitt romney and this moment in american politics. we have seen with the debt clock that is looming over -- >> yeah. >> we've seen -- maybe we have this graphic, right? we have seen that the story being told about why america lost its path was about debt, about how evil and profid yous debt is to the american. mitt romney biauomney built his death, and one part of our tax code that subsidizes and prefers death over equity in financial transactions. everything mitt romney is, all of his wealth is a testament to the power of debt and leverage at the exact moment that the argument that is being made by the republican party, is that
there is something morally odious and offensive about debt. right? that it is somehow a transgression and betrayal. it's what got us into this. he is the testament to how debt creates money and the irony is that the thing that america actually needs at this moment is someone to use the fact that our treasuries sell for essentially nothing and use that cheap debt to finance investment right now. there is a case going to be made for the private equity baron coming into rural america. it's the opposite of the case mitt romney is going to make tonight. >> let me bring lawrence o'donnell in on this. lawrence, you're a man who knows what you speak on these issues. what do you think of romney and the case he's going to make on bain tonight? >> reporter: rachel, the founder of staples is up there right now, and his segment began as it were with the doctored video of president obama that has the line "you didn't build that." they, of course, cut out the line that proceeds that, that talks about infrastructure and the various ways in which businesses depend on things
outside of their own control in order to grow. that had to be doctored out because no one in this audience knows how to respond to the full text of what the president actually said. and so now we're in another version of the "you didn't build that" chant going on here in the hall. and it goes over very successfully here. and it's -- it's amazing that the central chant of this campaign is based on, and everyone in this room knows it, a doctored quote, an edited quote where they rip out the essence of it in order to create an impression of what the president was saying that's completely untrue. >> it is amazing. thank you, lawrence, for that. i want to say that the case that they are making tonight about bain is a case that i think, ed, you're right, and chris matthews, you were right to point this out at the very top this idea about trying to give people something they can grasp on to about what in mitt romney's career really means he'll be good about dealing with
an economy in which most people don't work for private equity and can't define what it is and can't necessarily define what equity is versus debt in that graph. this video about mitt romney's tenure at bain capital, specifically the firm's involvement in an indiana manufacturer called steel dynamics, that video is playing now. let's dip into this so we can see the argument they're making here. >> you know, in the '90s or at the turn of the millennium here, because most people viewed the american steel industry as in a state of decay, globally noncompetitive, going by the wayside. who in the world would take that leap of faith and would invest? i'm keith, one of the founders of steel die nynamics and today
chairman of chief executive officer. the question really is, what did bain do to help us get started, what has that meant to the community, what has it meant to the country or the region? they allowed entrepreneurs to do what they do best, to go out and pro create. the success was a second mill, third mill, fourth mill, fifth mill. it allowed spinoff jobs to be created. without that kind of capital, we wouldn't even exist today. there would not be a steel dynamics, over which today i would tell you is the fifth largest steel maker in america. the most popular steel maker in america, can compete with china or any other nation on earth and the cost production of flat-rolled steels. so we've grown from an entity that employed about 250 people to an entity that has about 6,500 people working in a climate that wasn't friendly to anyone, number one, and in an
industry that most people thought had perished many years earlier. i always think of mitt and his team as the team that really put us over the top and one of the reasons why we are who we are today in this country. the guy is bright. he's a good businessman. that's what america needs. >> from the sunshine state -- >> video obviously designed as part of a multi sort of multielement strategy by the romney folks and the rnc to sell mitt romney's business career tonight. steve schmidt, looking at that as a republican strategist, do you feel like that is hitting the right buttons for people who might not understand what it is mitt romney has done? >> i do. look, mitt romney has add vaj tajs over the president, his ability to handle the economy. the attacks the president is making are throwing rocks up hill. the impact of the bain attacks have been to impact mitt romney's likability. and there's a huge gap between, you know, the president and him
on that front. what's politically remarkable about the bain attacks is that 18 years after the first attacks, after the primary season where the republicans piled on, tonight on the night that he's being nominated is the first night that there's a coherent strategy to begin to answer the criticism. and it's just remarkable. this will obviously play out in the debates. we won't know until we get through the three debates who wins this exchange between the president and mitt romney, but it's going to be fascinating to watch. >> it has been interesting to watch the democrats sort of go completely whole hog on this for a while and start to move on to other things. the democrats have started to move on to his massachusetts record, at the exact moment mitt romney is first articulating his own version of what happened at bain. it's so tied up in his tax rush returns he cannot be that specific about it outside of a totally controlled environment like the convention, right? doesn't it lead ultimately to how much did you make on that deal? >> it's the thin ice that ed talked about earlier. this is dangerous ground for
democrats because it's a slippery slope to the attack on success. the attack on business. and sometimes the attacks don't necessarily go dynamically the way that you want them to. mitt romney's going to have a chance to respond. so i really truly don't believe that we're going to know the answer to how all this plays out until you see the president and romney standing up there in the debates and obviously they're going to have a discussion about it. we'll see how it plays out. >> runner up for the republican presidential nomination this year was rick santorum. he very noticeably declared earlier this year that mitt romney was the worst possible republican to run against president obama. he was not one of the people who attacked him on bain. the reason mr. santorum said that was mr. romney's record as massachusetts governor. massachusetts governor record, the bain record is all being aired out tonight in a way that has no been before. it's all on display in tampa and new york when we come back. this is msnbc's live coverage of the republican convention.
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but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. with snapshot, i knew what i could save before i switched to progressive. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. you're not filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today. welcome back to our live coverage of the republican national convention. i'm rachel maddow here in new york. and tampa right now the convention delegates are being treated to a video-like folio brochure thing about mitt romney's tenure as massachusetts governor. there's one element of mr. romney's tenure in massachusetts as awkward as humanly possible
for a republican candidate trying to craft a campaign against this particular president particularly when republicans are very angry at this particular president for something called health reform. it is particularly weird for mitt romney to be the messenger of that attack, but he's trying. for more on that particular brand of awkwardness, we bring in ezra klein. ezra? >> thank you, rachel. so what you're seeing right here, this is the official portrait, mitt romney had painted of himself when he left office as governor of massachusetts. what i want you to look at particularly is his desk. you're seeing a lamp. you know, lamps are important. you're seeing a picture of ann romney. his beloved wife. and right there in front of ann romney, that kind of binder looking thing, that is a copy of the 2006 massachusetts health reform law. mitt romney was so proud of that law that he put it in his official portrait. the only thing he tdid as governor of massachusetts to have representation in that portrait.
mitt romney resisted advisers who told him to apologize for it, abandon it, and wrote an op-ped for "usa today" telling president barack obama to, quote, apply the lessons we learned in massachusetts to his health care form law. one of those lessons romney said was, again, quoting romney, that using tax penalties as we did or tax credits as others have proposed encourages free riders to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. what mr. romney is talking about there is an individual mandate. and when he wrote that, mr. obama had been opposing an individual mandate as he did during the campaign. mr. romney told him to add one and eventually mr. obama did. and this is where mitt romney has gotten into trouble. in structural terms, the massachusetts health reform and the federal health reform are almost identical. not in every way, of course. the massachusetts law relies on federal medicaid funding for much of its money, while the federal pays for itself through taxes and medicare cuts. but they both have an individual
mandate. they both have insurance exchanges, these regulates markets, where they compete for your business. they both have subsidies to help you buy private insurance, they both expand medicaid. john gruber who helped mr. romney develop his bill who mr. romney thanked at the press conference when he actually signed his bill, he thanked him by name, has been really clear on this. in an interview last year, he said, they're the same -- here he used a word i can't use on tv. they're the same bill. romney can't have his cake and eat it, too. he can try to draw distinctions and stuff but he's just lying. and by the way, mr. romney's bill, it's a good bill. it's popular in massachusetts. it has done what it said it would do and covered almost everyone in the state. it created an architecture for cost control that is being built on now by governor patrick. it worked which is why the democrats wanted to make it into a national bill. but mr. romney says he will repeal that national bill, the affordable care act, not that he'll make it more like his own. he'll repeal it, get rid of it,
that it's no good, nothing salvageable within it. as for what he'll replace it with, he's not given us enough detail to say. rachel? >> they're the same blanking bill. >> the same blanking bill. >> when we do our pay cable show on the weekends that has all the swearings, that segment is going to be more effective, ezra. looking forward to that. i want to bring in lawrence o'donnell into this discussion. lawrence in terms of thinking about the difference between romney care and obama care or as bobby jindal once famously put it on a romney campaign conference call, what did he call it? obamney care. before he quickly corrected himself. how much can we get into the mitt romney massachusetts record before we get into he is the predecessor for obama care? >> reporter: it is the record as ezra pointed out. he was correct to have it in his official portrait. there's very little else that he can point to as governor in terms of positive accomplishments and of things that he set out to do.
one of the most important images that is associated with that bill, rachel, is the bill signing took place with senator ted kennedy standing happily, proudly, at mitt romney's side. their staffs worked together on this bill with -- because they needed to use medicaid in order to finance it and so forth, they needed federal cooperation in writing this bill. and so this was the -- this was ted kennedy's delivery of his dream to his state. to massachusetts. and he knew that mitt romney was a crucial partner because it made it bipartisan, it made it something that could be possible there. but that, ted kennedy was as proud that day as mitt romney was of what they did together. his partnership with ted kennedy is not going to be in any of the bio stuff they're going to run in this convention tonight. >> that's exactly right. and, you know, mr. romney's challenge, and the republicans'
challenge at this convention is to highlight something else about mitt romney's time as governor that is not health reform. obviously they can't really highlight the jobs record. have they been making an effort to highlight the jobs record even though he was 47th out of 50th in the country in terms of job growth? >> reporter: well, the jobs record involves a job loss of manufacturing jobs, rachel. rather significant. and romney has never been able to really get into any kind of description of what he did. i mean, just think of how long the man's been running for president. no one can think of a single sentence he's ever spoken that delivers any kind of fact about here's what i did for jobs in massachusetts. >> gene edmonds who served as mitt romney's secretary of the workforce in massachusetts describes herself as a liberal democrat, he is actually being brought forward to speak on mr. romney's behalf right now. let's listen to that. >> thank you for the warm welcome. i'm honored to be here tonight
to share my feelings about mitt romney. by way of background, my politics is as a liberal democrat. my passion, education, workforce training and leadership. when i first met governor romney, i was struck by his humanity, his grace, his kind manner. it was just the two of us in his office when i met him. as a finalist for a cabinet position in his administration. i could tell immediately just by our interaction that he is the real thing. authentic. he struck me then and now as honest, transparent, and inclusive. i somehow knew during that meeting that he is demanding of
himself and he'd be demanding of anyone who is part of his administration. i wanted to be around him, and in that kind of environment where my energy, skills and talent could be channeled along with others toward the public good, i could tell by our conversation that the governor was in office not for himself or to promote himself, but for the people. my initial size-up of the man held true. during the four years i served in his cabinet, i saw him up close and personal many times. and he always drove us in his administration to make government better for the people. one area where he made a
positive difference is in improving the representation of women in senior positions in massachusetts state government. before governor romney took office in 2003, women were significantly underrepresented among top rolls in government. with 52% of the population but just 30% of the jobs. over the next 2 1/2 years, 42% of the new appointments made by governor romney were women. in fact, based on a survey by the state university of new york, massachusetts was ranked first in percentage of women holding top state positions.
this led the "boston globe" to note women fill 10 of 20 top positions in governor mitt romney's administration, making the commonwealth one of five states that come close to matching the percentage of top women appointees to the proportion of women in the overall population. this achievement happened because mitt romney cared about the issue. he took action to fix it and he delivered results. he is unquestionably an amazing steward and leader. a servant leader. and someone whom i respect very much. that's the kind of leadership that has always inspired me.
unselfish leadership. the late steven cubby writes about two kinds of people. one type is all about themselves and their success. and the other type works as hard as they can and certainly succeeds, but their success is motivated by doing good for others. that's how i see governor romney. he is authentic. >> are we taking this to the end or are we -- we're going to lawrence o'donnell right now on the convention floor able to hear this speech in person. lawrence? what's your take on this? >> reporter: it's extraordinary. this is essentially massachusetts' labor secretary. you'd expect to hear something about the unemployment rate which was actually higher than the national average. nothing. not a word. all we have heard her talk about is how pleasant it was to meet mitt romney. i take her word for that.
absolutely. and then all she has to tell us is what mitt romney did in hiring people for the very few government jobs there are at the massachusetts statehouse and in his administration. we're talking about, rachel, dozens of jobs, but they are all government jobs. that's all she talked about, and she was very glad that mitt romney was open to and good about hiring women for those very few government jobs. >> it is hard to -- it is hard to elaborate from that argument to a broader argument for why mitt romney would be awesome for the country, but it does make him sound like he might be a fun boss, at least in the moment that he's hiring you. thank you, lawrence, on that. you know, mr. romney had a 36% job approval rating by the time he left office in massachusetts. the state was 47th in job creation nationwide. it had the second highest drop in the labor force in the time he was there.
the state that was number one was louisiana. of course, that suffered through hurricane katrina at that point. >> see, i think that the problem you have, and we talked about it a little bit earlier, it's good to show diversity. i give them credit for that. but if you have policies that does not move a diverse body of people, so he can show a woman saying he hired women, but at the same time he has a platform has probably the most anti-women rights program we've seen. you have latinos throughout the convention. you have rubio introducing him. if rubio or governor martinez went to arizona, they'd be pulled over and asked for their papers if they didn't have state troopers with them. you don't only need to have people on the stage, you need to have policies that will, in fact, help those people. otherwise you're just playing with the mentality of the american electorate. >> all right. i've got to tell you, it is basically zero hour for the
biggest moment in mitt romney's political career. it is fast approaching. he has left husband hotel and heading to the venue where he'll be giving his speech to accept the nomination of the republican party for president of the united states. we have mr. romney coming up. we have marco rubio coming up. we have apparently clint eastwood coming up. yep. this is msnbc's live coverage of the republican convention. stay with us. ♪ why not make lunch more than just lunch?
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mitt romney's first run for public office, 1994. he got clobbered trying to unseat massachusetts senator ted kennedy who ended up later on being his partner in health reform. in 1994, mitt romney lost to ted kennedy by 17 points. but look at how mitt romney waged that campaign. here's what his politics looked like in 1994. >> i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. i feel that all people should be allowed to participate in the boy scouts regardless of their sexual orientation. look, i was an independent during the time of reagan/bush. i'm not trying to return to reagan/bush. >> mitt romney's politics circa 1994. in 2002, mr. romney ran again this time for governor of massachusetts. that time, that race, he won. here's what his politics looked like in that campaign. >> always a burden for someone to run with "r" for republican after their name. very clear i think to people across the commonwealth that my "r" doesn't stand so much for republican as it does for
reform. i'm not a partisan republican. i'm someone who's moderate and my views are progressive. >> my views are progressive. those were mitt romney's politics as of 2002, ten years ago. here's how he is running for president this year. >> i was a severely conservative republican governor. conservative constants have shaped my life. i worked very hard to promote a conservative agenda. i lived conservatism. my conservatism is to the core. >> as a candidate for u.s. senate and for massachusetts governor, mitt romney ran as a progressive. literally his words. my views are progressive, that's what he said. he started running for president as severely conservative. it was precisely that kind of whiplash inducing ideological transformation that lost mr. romney the presidential nomination four years ago. mitt romney did not come in second in terms of delegates behind john mccain last time around in 2008. the guy who came in second was mike huckabee. mr. romney in 2008 spent $42
million of his own money trying to get the republican nomination. he devoted himself to iowa in particular in 2008, only to lose there to mike huckabee by nearly ten points. this time mike huckabee is not running and this time mitt romney did not self-finance. he has left his own money pretty much out of it this year, but he has tapped a vein of donors so rich that the democrats this year say they expect that their candidate will be the first ever incumbent president who will be outspent by his challenger. in this case, mitt romney. the ideology may have changed to fit the times, but the raw financial power of a romney candidacy is the one thing that does not change. steve schmidt is among our, the people we can tap for advice on nights like this. steve, you are the only guy who's ever run a national campaign against mitt romney and beat him. how would you compare romney 2012 to the romney 2008 that you beat in the primaries? >> you know, it's funny, watching both rick santorum and mike huckabee this week, one of
the best indicators that there possibly is that one day you'll be the republican nominee is to run and come in second place. no republican with the exception of george w. bush, of course, the son of the former president, a little bit different in 2000 when he ran, but all of the candidates, right, that we recognize, whether it was ronald reagan running in 1968, 1976, 1980. john mccain. the republicans put the candidates around the track once before they come back to be the nominee. so, you know, tonight's a big night for mitt romney. it's a huge achievement to become the nominee of your party. he's obviously had a big transformation over the course of his career and at a time where the party has become more conservative, his achievement is all the more remarkable that he was able to navigate, able to navigate the processes given his past record on some of these issues. >> because of that, how did he survive the flip-flop thing and i'm the progressive and i didn't like reagan stuff? >> well, i mean, basically if
you go back to the debates, the "star wars" bar scene cast of characters helped. if a jeb bush had run, if mike huckabee had run, mitt romney may well not have been able to navigate the process. but, you know, when you looked at that cast of cashes, you know, through the course of the primaries, who's going to be the nominee? who's prepared to be president of the united states? really there was only one legitimate, you know, person, who i think had the temperament, the character, the experience to be a plausible president. he demonstrated that in debate after debate. >> chris matthews, when you look at that old tape right now of mitt romney talking about being a progressive, not liking reagan, being pro-choice and pro-gay rights and all those things, doesn't that think that doesn't have power against him anymore now that he survived the primaries and generals, will that stuff help him or make him look like he'll say anything to get elected? >> it's baffling to me, rachel. i love the way you put that together. the homework is great.
i think to show his sharp liberalism if you will, on the issues we usually debate here, he sounds very much like scott brown right now today. now, imagine, flip this. it's hard to flip this. suppose somebody had gone out to utah and had been a pro-life tough, tough as nails conservative. and then went back across the country and ran themselves for president as a liberal. on all the liberal positions, pro and national health. pro-choice an abortion rights. reproductive rights. and flipped the other -- i don't know whether that would have worked for the democratic party. the republican party must be pretty desperate for candidates that they would accept someone who won their union card swearing to god they were not in sync with the people about to nominate them for president. the liberals wouldn't put up with this and say, this guy, this woman is bogus. they sworn an oath to enemy on every front. now they're coming to us and asking for our presidential nomination? it's extraordinary. i chalk it up to the fact republicans want to get rid of
obama so bad they'll run a guy they're not absolutely sure is one of them. that's the big surprise i think will go down in the history books regardless of what happens this election. >> it speaks just to the power of the republican base which we debate a lot and the argument in favor of the base not having a lot of power is john mccain and mitt romney. >> right. >> in the house -- >> a lot of noise. >> -- they're running things but not running things at nomination time. >> that's right. wherever you are, hunker down because the headlin looili about to do their stuff on the stage in tampa. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the republican convention. this is the good part you've been waiting for, coming up. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly
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order of business. we're sort of going up the on ramp on to the main event here. what is due to happen right now is a video which we think is a video tribute to mitt romney. here's why i'm saying i think and it seems a little weird. because as far as i understand the order of business, it's video, followed by mystery guest, spoiler alert, it's clint eastwood, followed by marco rubio, followed by mitt romney. doesn't the video always go right before the nominee? as the inspiring thing? we're not going to have a video to get us psyched about clint eastwood, are we? >> well, he's got a few of them he could throw out there. >> we'll watch clint greatest hits in. >> the republicans have their own -- >> this is how i understand it's going to go. chris matthews in tampa, in terms of what we're about to get here, this big rampup. why put clint eastwood so close to the main event, and what does mitt romney need to do? >> because everybody -- so --
you have to generalize. a lot of people think clint eastwood is the new john wayne. the guy who personifies american toughness and character. he's always played -- he may be tough guys, too tough, but he's generally been a good guy in the movies especially movies like "gran torino" who gave up his life to the young kids who were immigrants and was a noble character. stood up for the young woman boxer in "million dollar baby." a good guy. secret service agent who tried to protect kennedy and failed and felt guilty about it. there's a character backstory to all those role s. they want to bring forward tonight is the american character who came through in all those parts. mitt romney doesn't have the reality, the core that this guy represents. i know he's a movie star. this will give them what the republicans want, a sense of spine, a toughness but goodness. you can't beat him actually today unless you just have a problem with clint eastwood. i don't know many people who do. i think he's a big plus for them
tonight. maybe it's unfair. a lot of conservatives liked barbra streisand, too. i don't think we should confuse -- i mean it. i was at a concert with her one time. she asked me, how many people voted for the republicans this time? half the people raised their hand. she was surprised afterwards when i talked to her. don't confuse art and movie with politics. in this case it will definitely help the republicans having clint. >> there elton john was talking recently about the lovely e-mails he gets from rush limbaugh, right? there's the crossover appeal here. clint eastwood most recently in terms of political forays accused of having a pro-obama bias for the halftime in america ads. the super bowl ads. >> he's pro life, okay in i'll be the fly in the ointment here. seven kids. five wives. he's not there to talk about family values tonight. if he were low income, he would fit the stereotype of what the republicans are against all the time. he's not as perfect as he may seem, but he's got the star
power. >> yeah. >> he's got buzz. he'll get the attention. he's an attention getter before a big speech where romney has to hit it out of the park. >> does this mean we stop -- >> i find that ironic that the republicans love to hit on hollywood about the democrats -- >> that's what i was going to say. >> they just can't wait to reel out old clint there. maybe he'll pull out a "make my day" moment or something. i don't know. >> there's no greatest moment in a republican campaign for president when you can actually get a big star to come out, you know? people are overjoyed in the campaign when it happens. >> bo derek -- >> there's no candidate that needs star power more than mitt romney. mitt romney needs to connect tonight. he needs to sizzle. he needs to energize. and he needs help because he has none of those qualities unless some miracle happened between the hotel and -- i just saw him walk in and i didn't see the kind of walk that makes me feel like i can't wait to hear this guy talk. so clint eastwood brings the star power.
the energy. the fact that we're even sitting up here talking an what is clint eastwood going to do gives us more of a reason why he's there tonight because it will make the public watch and see what's going on. >> that's true. >> do you think people are really going to tune in to see mitt romney speak? >> yes. he's the nominee. they've got to. right? >> i'm curious to see how much the ryan speech affected the romney speech by which, i mean, were there claims in there that the fact the day two headlines on ryan speech were about these factual errors, these lies, these misleading moments. is he going to go with the gutting welfare, is he going to get up there and say president obama's gutting welfare and give every reporter an opportunity tomorrow morning to say, that is not true? >> right. >> is the speech being rewritten because of the reaction to the ryan -- how hard is he going to go with those themes, or what i anticipate is a much more soft focus introducing him to america as a likable guy. the personal likable steve
talked about, that is one of the big things he has to overcome. >> when i look at mitt romney, i'll tell you my personal feeling about him. he was my governor in massachusetts for a long time. i've been watching him for a long time. when he's on the attack, talking disapprovingly about something, i find him repellent. when he's talking in positive ways about himself, doing the grandpa shtick he does, i find him a likable guy even when i disagree with him immensely. you look at him as somebody who agrees with him on a lot more issues. do you feel like he's likable when he's on the attack? is that my bias? >> i don't think he's great on the attack. i'll be surprised if you see a cutting, slashing speech tonight from mitt romney. i think you saw him dimensionalize in a couple interviews he's done over the last week with his wife, ann romney. i think they were very, very effective. i think they were some of the most effective things he's done. to the point of the paul ryan speech last night, one of the things the romney campaign has done very well over the course of the summer is they have put
the tag on the obama campaign as the negative campaign in the race. i think they've been very effective doing that. you look back to the 2000 campaign with vice president gore. you know, gore got caught up in a narrative that he was lying, that he was the serial exaggerator, that he was making claims that couldn't be substantiated. and you have to be very, very careful in a presidential campaign going into the fall that you don't get tagged with that. it's going to be very important in this speech for them not to get caught up in what they got caught up in last night. every factual claim, every assertion, is going to have to be as precise and as on-point as you would want a neurosurgeon to be operating on your brain. >> but isn't tonight a night of generic presentation? lofty vision for america, we've underachieved under president obama, i've got a better plan? reagan-esque. make the american people feel good about who you are and your vision for the country. >> you can't be so generic you are lulled to sleep, though.
>> he has to answer a couple questions. he has to go out there and communicate to country, who is mitt romney? i think that's blank space in a lot of ways. he's also going to have to go out and communicate, how can the country do better? what is his vision for the future? what is his plan to turn the country around? and the spear, if it's going to be a successful speech, he has to accomplish those things in the speech. >> lawrence, having seen the effect of dpimpbt speakers in the hall, seeing this ahead of us, clint eastwood, rubio, romney, what do you think romney has to do, and how likely do you think he has to do it? >> the bar couldn't be lower. the expectations in the bar couldenn't be lower. he just has to read the prompter. no one is expecting much more. this is a crowd that's for paul ryan. they knew that was going to be their excitement. it's very much like four years ago. more excitement in the vice
presidential candidate's speech than the presidential candidate's speech. if i could just for a second go back to the clint eastwood thing. i think that is about likability. they think clint eastwood is more likable than mitt romney. there is utter nonsense. there will not be one vote in america turned because an aging movie star says i like this guy. >> well, you know, i think that's absolutely fair. but maybe it's going to make everybody watch. maybe al is right about this. this gives you enough star power that it's going to draw you in. >> it was interesting. the super bowl, clint eastwood was on a politician platform when most americans are watching tels visi television. america didn't come. we came back with the automobile industry. he talked about an obama success story. it's fourth quarter, we've got to keep going.
he might show up with some of that tonight. >> that's his image, the real fighting. but the fact that after car company would use him in a super bowl company, he's a draw. >> give everyone a fair chance. you're going to see this country come roaring back. >> you can never predict what kind of tough decisions are going to come in front of a president's desk. and if you really want to know how a person will operate, look at how they've lived their life.
>> they were asking me about what's going on with what happened with the scandal and what my opinion is if we can pull this thing off. i said yeah, it's going to be just fine. and they said how do you know? i said kbauz i just met mitt romney. >> people were afraid. >> it turned out to be a financial turnaround and a governmental turnaround. >> he was not a figure head. he was not only running the show, he was out there speaking to the people and showing them through his words, through his
actions what the olympics could mean to the united states. >> when i was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, we dissolved in tears. >> probably the toughest time in my life was when we hugged each other and the diagnosis came. >> i was very, very ill. i don't know if people knew how sick i was. i was frightened. mitt was frightened. i needed him desperately. >> i'm happy in life if i got my soul mate with him. >> mitt decided he was going to honor heroes throughout the country and the torch relay was going to be all about heros. and mitt chose me as his hero. my life was in, you know, in jeopardy and i was like, as vulnerable as a person could be and i trust mitt. i trust him with my life. >> she's gorgeous, absolutely
beautiful. i can't explain love. i don't know why it happens. i don't know why it endures the way it does. you know, at the very beginning, i sat with her, chatted with her, put my arm around her. and something changed. >> my 16th birthday party was when mitt and i really became sort of an item. mitt helped plan it and it was sort of the beginning of our romance. 1968, he flew into the detroit airport right before christmas. his mother has her arms open. he runs right by her and grabs me. >> on the car ride home from the airport, i turned to ann and said i feel like i've never been away. she said i feel the same way. >> so by the time we got home, we get out of the car and we tell everybody we're getting married, like, next week. we compromised and waited until march 21. >> sweet baby. >> sweet baby.
my brother and i matt fought a lot. >> three, not bad. four, it got to be a little much. >> oh, my gosh. very rambunctious. >> here i am telling everybody what to do. >> craig the fifty-one was my most active child. >> craig, don't squirt me. >> my mom was always begging us to be quiet. please, could i have quiet in this house. >> we could never, ever say anything bad about my mom. >> i traveled a good deal in my early career. i would call ann and hear the boys in the background. she might be exasperated. i said ann, don't forget what you're doing is more important than what i'm doing. >> i hate to say it. sometimes i had more than five
sons. i had six sons. >> how are you doing knuckle snorts? it's like you know, you know. >> mitt would walk in the door after work, leave the briefcase in the door. that was it. >> we just felt like we were the most important thing in his life. >> i looked to mom if i ever needed money. you never went to dad. he was way too cheap. >> my dad didn't have the rite bulb, so he replaced it with whatever bulb he had. the problem is it sticks out and blinds you when you cook. so he solved that with tinfoil and duct tape. >> i know what poverty is. i've been up through it. >> for mitt, i think he ide idealized his father. he really was his hero. >> it was during those trips with my father that i fell in
love with america. >> marnts and grandparents were refugees from a revolution. i remember ann asking me dad, what was the most meaningful accomplishment of your life and without hesitation, he said the great accomplishment of my life was raising you four kids. my dad worked for his dad. he was a dry wall guy. he could put nails in his mouth and spit them out pointing end forward. i grew up watching my dad lead. >> i'm concerned about america. i'm concerned about what's happening to america. >> if he felt some way about a particular issue, there was no question in your mind about how he felt. friends called him the brick. because he was immovable. he let me tag along in some very unusual setting.
i didn't realize he was giving me an experience more helpful from a leadership standpoint than anything i lerped in school. >> what was special about mitt is he understood what was behind the numbers. what's behind the numbers was great people. >> mitt romney valued every employee. he made it a point to let us know is that every employee was critical to the success of staples. >> why would anybody want to save on envelopes and file folders? >> mitt is a cheap son of a gun. if he can save 50 cents on paper clips he would drive a mile to do it. >> i've seen him do it firsthand. >> he was dealing with the fundamental problems that companies confront. he was dealing with them in a way that allowed them to grow, to add jobs, to build factories. >> we could smile. >> when i became governor of
massachusetts, i took the skills i learned in business and went to look at our state budget. we were about $3 billion out of balance. >> i'll never forget the first cabinet meeting. the governor asked one of his assistance to bring out a list of campaign promises. now, there were something like 44 campaign proms. the governor said by the end of this administration we're going to go down this checklist and keep each and every promise was made. i thought he's different. >> we balanced our budget and went from a $3 billion budget gap in my first year to over $2 billion rainy day fund. >> when we came into office, we were in if is call crisis. when he came out, we were on much more solid footing. >> his whole life has brought him top this point of being able to have the skills and the experience to be able to tackle something as difficult as turning this country around.
>> mitt romney is in this race, i believe, not just for himself. he's in it to improve the lives of the american people. >> an extraordinary chief executive officer. i know he's the economy. >> uniquely qualified to get our economy moving again. >> he's not a stuffed shirt guy. >> he's charismatic. >> rock solid. >> authentic leader. >> he cares about the lives of sthoez who are unheard. >> he finds a way to turn adversity into opportunity. >> he knows what it takes to turn this country around. >>ly devote every waking hour of my energy to getting america
strong again. that's what an american president has to do. >> well, that was the video they' just shown to the republican national convention. i thought it was a failure. in fact, almost a complete failure. i thought the strong est person in that ad is george romney. i saw in him a republican who believed in moderate causes who was -- and his mother who was pro choice running against phil hart. i realize now why jack kennedy how afraid he was of running
against george romney. back at you, rachel. >> looking now at clint eastwood. he was the mystery guest, unannounced until today, although rumored before today. he will be speaking on mr. romney's behalf. he'll be followed by marco rubio and he'll be followed immedia immediately by mr. romney himself. let's listen. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> save a little for mitt. i know what you're thinking. what's a movie tradesman doing out here. you know they're all left wingers out there. left of lenin. at least that's what people think, but that's not really the
case. there's a lot of conservative people, a lot of moderate people, republicans, democrats in hollywood. it's just the conservative people by the nature of the word itself play it closer to the vest and they don't go around hot dogging it. but they are there, believe me, they're there. in fact, i saw some of them around town. i saw jon voight. academy award winner. terrific guy. and these people are all like-minded, like all of us. i have mr. obama sitting here and i was just going to ask him a couple of questions. but, you know, about -- i
remember 3 1/2 years ago when mr. obama won the election and, though i wasn't a big supporter, i was watching that night when he was having that thing and they were talking about hope and change and they were talking about yes, we can and it was dark and outdoors and it was nice and people were lighting candles. and they were saying, you know, i just thought this is great. i mean, everybody is crying, oprah was crying. i was even crying. i haven't cried that hard since i found out that there's 23 million unemployed people in this country. now, that is something to cry for. that is a disgrace, a national disgrace. we haven't done enough obviously.
this administration hasn't done enough to krur that. and whatever interest they have is not strong enough. and i think possibly now it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problem. mr. president, how do your handle proms you made when you were running for election? how do you handle it? what do you say to people? do you just -- you know, i know people were wondering -- you don't handle it? okay. well, i know some of the people in your own party were very disappointed when you didn't
close git mmo. well, why close that. we spent so much money on it. what do you mean shut up? i thought it was just because someone had a stupid idea of trying terrorists in downtown new york city. i've got to give credit to you. you did overrule that finally. now we're moving onward. i know you were against the war in iraq, and that's okay. but you thought the war in afghanistan was okay. i mean, you thought that was something that was worth doing. we didn't check with the russians to see how they did there for the ten years.
but we did it. you know, it's something to be thought about. and i think that when we get to maybe -- i think you mentioned something about having a target date for bringing everybody home and you've given that target date and i think mr. romney asked the only sensible question. he said, why are you giving the date out now? why don't you just bring them home tomorrow morning? i'm not going to shut up. it's my turn. so anyway, we're going to have to have a little chat about that.
then i wondered about, you know, when the -- what? what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that. he can't do that to himself. you're crazy. you're absolutely crazy. you're getting as bads biden. we all know biden is the intellect of the democrat ic party. kind of like a grin with the body behind it.
i think romney and mr. ryan are two guys that can come along. i never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to be president anyway. i think attorneys are so busy -- they're always taught to argue everything and weigh both sides. they're always devils advocating this and biforcating this and that and all that stuff. so i think it's time for maybe a businessm businessman. how about that? a stellar businessman. a stellar businessman.
i think it's that time. if you can just step aside and mr. romney takes over, you could still use the plane. though maybe a smaller one. not the big gas guzzler you're drooiing around when you're going around to colleges and talking about student loans and stuff like that. you're an ecological man, why would you want to drive that truck around? i'm sorry, i can't do that to myself either. so anyway. i would looic to say something, ladies and gentlemen, something that's very important is that you, we, we own this country.
[ applause ] >> usa! usa! >> we own it. it's not you owning it or politicians owning it. politicians are employees of ours. >> they're going to come around and beg for votes every two years. it's the same old deal. i think it's important to realize that you're the best in the world. whether you're republican or b libertarian or whatever, you're the best and we should not ever forget that. and when somebody does not do the job, we've got to let them go. let them go.
[ applause ] >> just remember that, i'm speaking out for everybody out there. [ shouting ] i don't say that word anymore. what i'm saying is we don't have to vote for somebody that we don't even really want in the -- in office. just because they seem to be nice guys. or maybe not so nice guys if you look at some of the recent ads going out there. i don't know.
you want to make my day? i'll start it. okay, you finish it. go ahead and -- >> make my day! >> thank you very much. >> i don't -- i don't -- i don't know. i don't -- well, clint eastwood is 82 years old. i think that -- i don't know if that's what was going on there. >> he didn't make one coherent point about the war in afghan staen and fake interviewed an
empty chair pretending barack obama was swearing the him. that was the weirdest thing i've ever seen at a convention ever. and it will be the weirdest i think ever if i live to be 100. that was bizarre. >> thank you so much for doing this convention in florida. thank you. before i begin, this is such an important night for our country. i want to take just a -- with your permission, just a few seconds to talk about another country located a few hundred miles from this city, the country of my parents' birth. there's no freedom or liberty in cuba. i ask if your prayers that freedom and liberty will soon be theirs as well. not so long ago, i was just a deep underdog candidate. the only people who thought i
could win all lived in my house. four of them were under the age of 10. but this was incredible when i was asked to introduce governor romney who we will hear from in just a moment. he's backstage just a ago. i talked to a lot of people and they all said just don't mess it up. so i thought the best thing to do is to talk about what this election is about. and i'm so honored to be able to do it here in florida at the republican national convention in front of all you patriots. >> my grandfather was born to a farming family in cuba.
childhood polio left him permanently disabled. because he couldn't work the farm, his family sent him to school. he was the only one in his family who knew how to read. he was a huge influencen me growing up. i used to listen to his stories about history and politics and baseball. as he would puff on one of his three daily padrone cigars. now, i don't remember. it's been three decades since we last sat on that porch. and i don't remember all the things he talked to me about, but the one thing i remember is the one thing he wanted me to never forget, that the dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve. but there was no limit how far i could go because i was an american. [ applause ] >> now for those of us -- here's why i say that. for those of us born and raised in this country, sometimes it
becomes easy to forget how special america is. but my grandfather understood how different america was from the rest of the world because he knew life outside of america. tonight, you will hear from another man who understands what makes america exceptional. mitt romney knows america's prosperity didn't happen because our government simply spent more money. it happened because our people used their own money to open a business. and when they succeed, they hire more people who invest or spend their money in the economy. helping others start a business or create jobs. now to niepgt, we've heard for a long time now about mitt romney's success in business. it's well known. burr we also learned he's so much more than that. mitt romney is a devoted husband, a father, a grandfather, a generous member of his community and church, a
role model for younger americans like myself. everywhere he's been, he's volunteered his time and talent to make things getter for those around him and her blessed that a man like this will soon be the president of the of these united states. [ applause ] now, let me be clear so no one misunderstands. our president with president obama isn't that he's a bad person. okay? by all accounts, he, too, is a good husband and a good father and thanks to lots of practice, a good golfer. our problem is not that he's a bad person. our problem is that he's a bad president.
do you think he's watching tonight? because his new slogan for his campaign is the word "forward." forward. a government that spends in $1 trillion more than it takes in? an $800 billion stimulus that created more debt than jobs? a government intervention into health care, paid for with higher taxes and cuts to medicare, scores of new rules and regulations. these ideas don't move us forward. these ideas move us backwards. these are tired and old big government ideas that have failed every time and everywhere they've been tried. these are ideas 245 people come to america to get away from. [ applause ]
these are ideas that threaten to make america more like the rest of the world instead of helping the rest of the world become more like america. as for his old slogan, under barack obama, the only change is that hope is hard to find. now sadly, millions of americans are insecure about their future. but instead of inspiring us and reminding us what makes us special, he divides us against each oh. he tells americans that they're worse off because others are better off. that rich people got rich by making other people poor. hope and change has become divide and conquer.
in this eleb, it doesn't matter what you think about president obama. because this election is about your future, not about his. and this election is not a choice about a democrat and a republican. it's a choice about what kind of country we want america to be. as we prepare to make this choice, we should remember what made us special. power and wealth only belonged to a few. your rights were whatever your rulers allowed you to have. your future was determined by your past. if your parents were poor, so would you be. if you were born without opportunity, so were your children 37 but america was founded on the principle that every person has god-given rights.
founded on the belief that power belongs to the people, that government exists to protect our rights and serve our interests. and that no one should be trapped in the circumstances of their birth. we should be free to go as far as our talents and our work can take us. and we're special because we're not united as a common race or ethnicity. we're bound together by common values. that family is the most important institution. and that almighty god is the source of all that we have.
>> we're special because we never made the mistake of believing that we're so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or on our government. our national motto, in if god we trust, reminding us that faith in our creator is the most important american value of them all. >> and we're spoeshl because we've always understood the scri scriptural admonition, for whomever much is given, much will be required. well, my fellow american, we are a uniquely blessed people. and we have honored those
blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional america. i know for many of you watching tonight, the last few years have tested your faith in the promise of america. maybe you're at an age when you thought you would be entering retirement. but now your savings and investments are wiped out, your future is uncertain. maybe after years of ard work this is the time you expected to be your prime earning years but instead you've been paid off and your house is worthless than your mortgage. maybe your studied hard and went to school but now you owe thousands of dollars in student loans and you had to move back in with your parents. you want to believe that we're still that special place where anything is possible, but things just don't seem to be getting any better. and you wonder if things will ever be the same again.
yes, we live in a troubled time, but the story of those who came before us reminds us that america is always a story about new beginnings. and mitt romney knows if we are willing to do for our children with our parents did for us, life in america can be better than it has ever been. my mother was one of seven girls whose parents often went to bed hungry so they wouldn't. her father had to leave school and go to work and he worked for the next 70 years of his life. my dad was a bartender. my mom was a cashier, a hotel
made, a stock clerk at k-mart. they never made it big. they were never rich, and yet they were successful. because just a few decades removed from hopelessness, they made possible for us all the things that weren't possible for them. my father would come home after a 16 hours day. many times i would weak up just as my mother got home from her overnight shift at k-mart. now as my children get older, i understand it better. my father used to tell us [ speaking spanish ] in this country, you're going to be able to accomplish all the things we never could. a few years ago, during a
speech, i noticed a bartender behind a portable bar at the back of the ballroom and i remembered my father who worked for many years as a banquet bartender. he was grateful for the work he had. but that's not the life he wanted for us. he stood behind a bar in the back of the r5078 for all those years so one day i could stand behind the podium in a front of a room. [ applause ] that journey from behind that bar to behind this podium goes to the essence of the american miracle. that we're exceptional, not
because we have more rich people here. we're exceptional because dreams that are impossible anywhere else, they come true here. but that's not just my story. that's your story. that's our story. that's the story of your mothers who struggled to give you what they never had. that's the story of your fathers who worked two jobs so the doors that had been closed for them would be hope for you. that's the story of that teacher or that coach that taught you the lessons that made you who you are today. and it's the story of a man who was born into an uncertain future in a foreign country. his family came to america to escape revolution. they struggled through poverty and the great depression. and yet he arose to be an admired businessman and public servant. and in november, his son mitt
romney will be elected president of these united states. in america, we are all just a generation or two removed from someone who made our futures the purpose of our lives. america is the story of everyday people who did extraordinary things. a story woven deep into the fabric of our set. their stories may never be famous, but in the lives they live you will find the essence of america's greatness. and to make sure that america is
a place where tomorrow is all better than yesterday, that is what our politics should be about. and that is what we're deciding this election. we decide, do we want our children to inherit our hopes and dreams or do we want them to inherit our problems? because mitt romney believes if we succeed in changing the direction of our country, our churn and grandchildren will be the most prosperous generation ever and their achievements will astonish the world. the story of our time will be written by americans who haven't yet even been born. let us make sure that they write that we did our part.
that in the early years of this new century, we lived in an uncertain time but we dinot allow fear to abandon what made us special. we chose more government instead of freedom. we chose the principles of our founding to sofl the challenges of our time. we chose a special man to lead us in a special time. we chose mitt romney and because we did, the american miracle lived on for another generation to inherit. [ applause ] my fellow republicans, my fellow americans, i am proud to introduce to you the next president of the united states of america, mitt romney!
♪ >> mr. romney entering the convention hall as ed shultz just said, state of the union style. they're bringing him in through the convention hall. making him walk in among the delegates. he's among delegate but also among elected officials like senator orrin hatch. also our own ron mott, mr. romney delicately stepping around mr. mott. they have the house lights up in the convention hall so that people can see that this is the way that mr. romney is walking
in. i think that is right that this resembles nothing so much in politics as the walk in to the state of the union. we have just heard from florida senator marco rubio, giving an energetic speech, mostly about his own biography. one of those speeches that re's sort of an insert name speech here. it was not about mitt romney whatsoever. there was half a line about mr. romney's father. it was a generic speech about mr. rubio and good things about the country. he described mitt romney as a special man. but nothing specific about him. so mr. romney will be left to describe himself, describe his image -- stadium s excuse me, not his image but his vision for the country as the country looks on. this is his biggest political moment ever after six years and two campaigns, running for president. after his father ran for president in 1968 and did not achieve the nomination. he receivered one term as
i do so with humility, deeply moved by the trust you've placed in me. it's a great honor. it's an even greater responsibility. and tonight, i'm asking you to join me to walk together to better future. and by my side, i've chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. he represents the best of america. a man who will always make us very proud. my friend and america's next vice president, paul ryan.
>> in the days ahead, you're going to get to know paul ryan better, but last night you got to see paul ryan who is not embarrassed to show how much he loves his kids and his mom. but paul, i still like the play list on my ipod better than yours. i know americans have felt fresh excitement about electing a new president. we're good and generous people and united by so much more than
what divides us. when that election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the by americans always have. optimisting and positive and confident in the future. that very optimism is uniquely american. it's what brought us to america. we're a nation of immigrants where the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren wanted a better life. those who woke up at night telling them that life in a place called america could be better. they came in pursuit not just in the riches of this world, but the richness of life. freedom of religion, freedom to speak their mind. freedom to build a life and, yes, freedom to build a business with their own hands.
>> we americans have felt a special kinship. these new americans surely had many questions, but none doubted that here in america they could build a better life that in america their children would be blesed more than that. for the first time, the majority of americans will no doubt have a better future. every family in america wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead.
do more for the elderly mom that's now gwynn alone. or do more for their church or charity. every small business wanted these to be their best years ever when they could hire more, do more for those who stuck with them during the hard times. open a new store or sponsor that little league team. every new college graduate thought they would have a good job by now, a place of their own. they could start paying back their loans, build for the future. this is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back the national deficits. this is the hope and change america voted for. it's not just what we wanted, it's not just what we expected, it's what americans deserved. >> usa! usa!
you deserve it because your family dpeepended on you. you did it because you're an american and you don't quit. you did it because it's what you had to do. working the second job, watching the gas go to $50 and keep going. when your realtor told you you had to take a big loss. you knew it wasn't rite, but what could yo do except work harder? do with less, hug your kids a little longer. maybe spend more time praying that tomorrow would be a better day. i wish president obama had succeeded because i want america to zuk seed. but as promises gave way to disappointment and division, this isn't something we have to
accept. now is the moment when we can do something, and with your help we will do something. now is the moment where we can stand up and say i'm an american, i make my destiny. we deserve better. my children deserves better, my family deserves better. my country deserves better. >> america has to make a decision. to make that choice, you need to know more about me. i was born in the middle of the century in the middle of the country. a classic baby boomer.
it was a time when americans were returning from war and eager to work. to be an american was to assume that all things were possible. when president kennedy challenged americans to go to the moon, the question wasn't whether we would get there, it was only when we would get there. the soles of neil armstrong's boots op the moon made permanent impressions on our souls. and i watched our steps together own her parent's sofa. like all americans, we went to bed knowing we lived in the greatest country in the history of the world. god bless neil armstrong.
tonight, that american flag is still on the moon. and i don't doubt for a second that neil armstrong's spirit is still with us, that unique blend of optimism, humility and the utter confidence that when you need the world to do really big stuff, you need an american. my dad had been born in mexico and his family had to leave during the mexican revolution. i grew up with stories of his family being fed by the u.s. government as war refugees. my dad never made it through college and he apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter. he had big dreams. he convinced my mom, a beautiful actress to give up hollywood to marry him. they moved to detroit.
he led a great -- [ applause ] he became the gor nor of the great state of michigan. we were mormons and growing up in michigan that might have seemed unusual or out of place, but i really don't remember it that way. my friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to. my mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all -- the gift of unconditional love. we cared about who we would be and much less what we would do. all the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and minds of mothers and fathers.
if everyone can wrap in their god's love, this world would be a far more gentle and better place. my mom and dad were married for 64 years. if you wanted to know what their secret was, you could ask their local florist because every day dad gave mom a rose which he put on her bedside table. that's how she found out what happened on the day my father died. she went looking for him because that morning there was no rose. my mom and dad were true partners. a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. when my mom ran for the senate,
my dad was there for her every step of the way. i can still see her saying in her beautiful voice, why should women have any less say than men about the great decisions facing our nation. don't you wish she could have been here at this convention and heard leaders like governor nicky haley, secretary of state conley sa ricondoleezza rice.
>> as governor of massachusetts, i chose a lieutenant woman governor. a woman chief of staff. half of my cabinet and senior officials were women. and in business, i mentored and supported great women leards who went on to run great companies. i grew up in detroit in love with cars and wanted to be a car guy like my dad, but by the time i was out of school, i realized i had to go out on my own, that if i stayed around michigan in the same business i would never really know if i was getting a break because of my dad. i wanted to go someplace new and prove myself. and pursue my dreams with five young sons who seemed like they needed to re-enact a world war every night. but if you would ask me and my wife to have one more war or
discover a pile of kids in our room, every mom and dad knows the answer to that. we five boys with our family a long ways away. i would call and try to offer support. but every mom knows that doesn't help get the homework done or get the kids out the door to school. and i knew that her job as a mom was harder than mine, and i knew without question that her job as a mom was a lot more important than mine.
>> tuesday night, america saw that ann would have succeeded at anything she wanted to do. >> like a lot of places with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends in our church. when we were new to the community, it was welcoming. as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved into town or just joined our church. we had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregations from all walks of life and many who were new to america. we prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways. that's how it is in america. we look to our communities, our faiths, our families for support
in good times and bad. it's how we live our lives and why we live our lives. the strength and power and goodness of america has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of oour communities, our families and our faiths. [ applause ] >> that's the bed rom of what makes america america. in our best days we can see the vie brancy of america's communities large and small. so when we see that new business opening up downtown. when we go to work in the morning and see everybody else on the block do the same thing. it's when our son and daughter calls from college to ask which job offer they should take and you choke up when you hear the one they like best is not too far from home. ewe help out on soccer teams or school trips. but for too many americans,
those kinds of good days are harder to come by. how many days have you woen up feeling that something really special was happening in america. many of you felt that way on election day four years ago. hope and change had a powerful appeal. but tonight, i would ask a simple question. if you felt that excitement when you voted for barack obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's president obama? you know you've done a bad job as president when the best day you've had was the day you voted for him. the if the hasn't disappointed you because he wanted to. the president has disappointed america because he hasn't led america in the right direction.
he took office without the basic qualification that noes americans have, and one that was essential to the task at hand. he had almost no experience working in a business. jobs to him are about government. i realized how america works by experience. when i was 37, i helped start a small dpaen. my partners and i started a company that was in the business of helping other businesses. so some of us had this idea if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. we should bet on ourselves. and on our advice. so we started a new business called bain capital. the only problem was while we believed in ourselves, not many other people did. we were young and never had before.
we almost didn't get off the ground. in those days, sometimes i wondered if i had made a really big mistake. by the way, i thought about asking my church's pension fund to invest, but i didn't. i figured it was bad enough that i might lose my investors' money, but i didn't want to go to hell, too. shows what i know. another of my partners got the episcopal church pension fund invest. and today there are a lot of retired happy priests who should thank him. that business we started with ten people has now grown into a great american success story. some of the companies we helped start are names you know and you've heard from tonight. an office company called staples where i'm pleased to see the obama campaign has been shopping.
the sports authority which, of course, became a favorite of of any boys. we helped bright horizons that michelle obama praised. and we took a chance and built a steel mill in a corn field in indiana. today steal dynamics are one of the larger steel producers in the united states. these are american success stories. these are the centerpieces of the entire re-election campaign. is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the great depression.
in america, we don't apologize for success. [ applause ] >> what this president doesn't seem to understand, business and growing jobs. sometimes fail, sometimes succeeding but striving. it's about dreams. usually it doesn't work out exactly as you might have imagined. steve jobs was fired at apple. and then he came back and changed the world.
the talent and dreams of the american people striving towards america's prosperity, not trying to redistribute today's. [ applause ] >> that's why every president since the great depression who came before the american people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction, you're better off than you were four years ago, except jimmy carter. and except this president.
this president can ask us to be patient, this president can tell us it was someone else's fault. this president can tell us the next four years he'll get it right. but this president cannot tell us that you're better off today than when he took office. us that you are better when he took office. [ applause ] america has been patient. americans have supported this president in good faith but today the time has come to turn the page. today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us, to put aside the deviid divici.
now is time to restore america. [ applause ] many americans have given up on this president but they have not thought about giving up, not on themselves, not on each other, and not on america. what is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound, doesn't take a special government commission to tell us what america needs. what america needs is jobs, lots of jobs. [ applause ] in the richest country in the history of the world, this obama economy has crushed the middle class. family income has fallen by $4,000 but health insurance premiums are higher. food prices are higher, utility bills are higher, and gasoline prices, they've doubled. today more americans wake up in poverty than ever before.
nearly one out of six americans is living in poverty. look around you, these aren't strangers. these are our brothers and sisters, our fellow americans. his policies have not helped create jobs, they have depressed them. and this i can tell you about where mr. obama would take america. his plan to raise taxes on small business won't add jobs. it would eliminate them. [ applause ] his assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturers jobs to china. [ applause ] his trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs and also put our security at greater risk. his $716 billion cut to medicare to finance obama care will both hurt today's seniors and depress
innovation. and his trillion dollar deficits restrain employment and cause wages to stall. to the majority of americans who believe that the future will not be better than the past, i can guarantee you this. if barack obama is re-elected, you'll be right. [ applause ] i'm running for president to help create a better future, a future where everyone who wants a job can find a job, where no senior fears for the security of their retirement and america where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon and unlike the president i have a plan to create 12 million new
jobs. [cheers and applause ] paul ryan and i have five steps. first, by 2020, north america will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear and our renewables. [cheers and applause ] second, we'll give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. when it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice and every child should have a chance -- [ applause ]
third, we'll make trade work for america by forging new trade agreements and when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences. [ applause ] and fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in america will not vanish, as have those in greece, we will cut the deficit and put america on track to a balanced budget. [ applause ] and fifth, we will champion small businesses. america's engine of job growth. that means reduces taxes on businesses, not raising them.
it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of health care by repealing and replacing obama care. [ applause ] today, women are more likely than men to start a business. they need a president who respects and understands what they do. and let me make this very clear. unlike president obama, i will not raise taxes on the middle class of america. [ applause ] as president, i'll protect the sanctity of life.
was relieved the day president obama gave the order and took out osama bin laden. on another front, every american is less secure today because he has failed to slow iran's nuclear threat. in his first tv interview as president he said we should talk to iran. we're still talking and iran's centrifuges are still spinning. president obama has thrown allies like israel under the bus even has relaxed sanctions on cuba. he's eager to give president
putin after the election. under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty and mr. putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone. [cheers and applause ] we will honor america's ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. this is a bipartisan legacy of truman and reagan and under my legacy, we will return to it once again. you might have asked yourself if
these last years are really the america we want. the america that was won for us by the greatest generation. does the america we want borrow a trillion dollars from china? does it fail to find the jobs that are needed for 23 million people and for half the kids graduating from college? [ crowd chanting "no" ] are those schools lagging behind the rest of the world? and does america we want succumb to resentment among americans? the america we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, united to preserve liberty, united to preserve the greatest he economy of the world, to save the world from unspeakable darkness. everywhere i go in america, there are monuments that have given their lives for america, no mention of their race, party
affiliation, or what they did for a living. [ applause ] they lived and died under a single flag fighting for a single purpose. they pledged the allegiance to the united states of america. that united america can unleash an economy that will put americans back to work that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity and restore every father and mother's confidence that their children's future is brighter even in the past. that america, that united america will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.
[ applause ] that america, that america, that united america will uphold the consolation of rights that were endowed by our creator and cotified in our constitution. that united america will care for the poor and the sick and will honor and respect the elderly and give a helping hand to those in need. that america is the best within each of us. that america we want for our children. if i'm elected president of these united states, i will work with all of my energy and soul to restore that america, to lift our eyes to a better future. that future is our destiny. that future is out there t is waiting for us. our children deserve it.
♪ ♪ >> the newly-minted presidential and vice presidential nominees of the republican party, mitt romney and paul ryan joined by their wives on stage. the balloons are starting to fall. in tampa bay, a cover maybe of james brown brown's "living in america" playing there. reverend al sharpton is seated at my right. talk loudly. >> great consternation. >> mr. romney's speech, a long
speech in print but one that he read very, very fast. he rushed through the speech. quite a lot of energy. started with a lot of personal details. mr. romney appearing to get a little emotional, even choked up when describing the love between his mother and his fare father. he talked about hiring a lot of women in his administration in massachusetts, he reminisced about his own children, raising his own children, his time with his children and grandchildren, and then on to a stump speech that was slashing and negative, that had the crowd chanting "no, no, no" repeatedly. mr. romney at one point saying, when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an american. he also chided president obama for having almost no experience working in a business. he said he was there for essentially not qualified to be president. he took off without the basic
qualification that most americans had, he had almost no experience working a business. he stands there with his vice presidential nominee paul ryan. i turn now to my colleague, chris matthews, who is in tampa. chris, what's your reaction in. >> well, i thought it was -- as you said a while ago tonight, he's better on the positive than he is on the negative. i thought his tribute to his mother, who was by the way pro choice and ran for the senate, was wonderful. and i thought his tribute to the american free enterprise system was positive and wonderful and there was stuff at the end that began to be very dark, very anti-scientific and really no-nothing, attacking the president for his concern over climate change was pretty much -- a pretty bad line. i mean, should we be concerned about it or not, but to mock it
and trying to raise -- or keep the sea level from rising, making fun of that. going after war, it was such a war-footed speech, i bet it was written by one of those real hawks because he really wants to go to war, it seems, strong, strong militaristic language. why build this indignation? i thought it was a cold war speech and i think it was bad for the country in that way. very bad to get us into a war-like mentality, talking about the russians in a way that they are our enemies again. what's the point of all that except to just savor rattle and i think it's bad for the country and i think on science and war and peace, i think this was bad.
on the other, parents and his kids, it was all very nice. >> steve schmidt, senior strategist from the mcpain/palin campaign in 2008, what did mitt romney most need to do and did he do it? >> i think mitt romney needed to show who he is tonight at a personal level. i think he needed to offer criticism of the obama administration and he needed to offer an economic vision for the country and i think he did all of those things. it wasn't the greatest convention speech ever. it wasn't even the greatest speech at this convention. it's the best speech that mitt romney has ever given in his life and that's what he needed to do tonight. i agree with chris in the sense that the first two-thirds of the speech i thought were stronger than the last third of the speech. and just one point, roughly 87,000 american soldiers, not a single mention of the word afghanistan in the speech which to me is evidence that it's time to come home from afghanistan. >> reverend al sharpton, as a
former presidential candidate yourself, as someone who is an excellent order and pretty hard-nosed judge, what do you think about this as a work of art? >> i think he was better as a performer than i thought he would. he showed a lot more energy and passion than i thought he would. i happen to agree with both steve and chris that he got a little dark of trying to figure -- when he says we do big things we need an american. was that a shot at the president or other people in the world? i don't know where he was going with that. but his delivery was better. he was careful, unlike his running mate not to say things that you could easily fact check and go after. that might have been what he did last night, he didn't get a plant that really closed under bush. but he did say things that we
clearly could question in terms of policy and he really didn't deal with a lot of things. you know, this whole definition of success as being equivalent only to entrepreneurship, like people can't be successful just working every day or can't be successful working in social -- in public service, like there's something wrong with barack obama that didn't want to be a businessman, he wanted to go help somebody in the community. >> or paul ryan. >> or paul ryan. so i think this whole definition of one-dimensional definition of success really bothers me. that's why i said that. and i must say as an opening, i suspect that clint eastwood has talked to an empty chair more than just tonight. >> i want to do a whole episode on the clint eastwood speech. >> i want to get ed's reaction to the speech and then yours, chris. >> well, first of all, i thought
it was set up really well. what they did before mitt romney came out on the set was effective. it captured women in the crowd tonight. it did reach them in a way that romney has not been able to do in any other speech. there was emotion there tonight and it was clearly a pitch that i'm good for women. i need women to realize that i'm going to be a good president and i thought that was very clear. but, again, the $716 billion lie was in there tonight. >> that's true. >> and one other thing, he says, let me make this very clear, unlike president obama i will not raise taxes on the middle class. president obama has not raised taxes. president obama has cut taxes. and i was also intrigued by -- he says, the skyrocketing cost of health care. that's helping out a lot of seniors in this country right now because of obama care. and he said they want to repeal it and replace it. this is now the third direction that the republicans have taken.
first it was repeal and replace and it was just repeal. now we're back to replacing. i want to hear what he has to say about that. but i thought it was an effective speech tonight. i thought that clint eastwood was bizarre and i thought it was demeaning to the presidency. i thought it lowered the standard of the convention and i thought it was completely unnecessary. >> let me go to lawrence o'donnell who's in the hall right now being rained upon with the confetti and the balloons. >> rachel, i agree with ed. steve sha schmidt is absolutely right. this was the best speech that mitt romney has ever given. he came in here, as i said, with very low expectations. all of the professional republicans have been talking to in this room today did not -- none of them said they, expected a performance as good as this. it was substance-free as paul ryan was last night. he didn't get into any of the
details of where his 12 million jobs would come from. but it was very effective. he delivered elements that this crowd really wanted to feel. this crowd absolutely feels they have someone who can win this election. and he definitely appealed to republicans outside of this hall. but ending on a war footing with iran was a very difficult way to end this speech for swing voters. a war with iran is not on the agenda for swing voters and on the clint eastwood thing, rachel, i just have to tell you the mastermind of this campaign and convention is a guy named stewart stevens. everyone knows about him. what people don't know about him, stewart and i haven't discussed this. i hired stewart ten years ago to write for me on a television drama about politics. he loves show business. clint eastwood was stewart's idea. stewart is into show business and now they are disowning clint
eastwood saying that he was ad libbing. we didn't give him a script. to include what clint eastwood did up here was absolutely disastrous. >> i couldn't believe my eyes. the two best lines of mitt romney's speech was what the nation needs is simple jobs and lots of jobs. that is a fact check true. that is the most pressing thing in the country and i hope president obama speaks about it a lot. the best line in the speech is, you know something is wrong when the best feeling that you have of the presidency is the day you voted for him. that gets to disappointment with the fact that the recovery is not what people want it to be. that's the core fact they are running on and the more he talked about that, the better he was. i thought the real moment was what chris matthews mentioned. in documentaries about america at this period of time, the line in which a hall full of people laugh at the notion of stopping the oceans from rising, when i
can tell you that there are engineers right now working on making sure that the subways of lower manhattan do not flood in the near future because of that, that will be in documentaries as a moment of just what were they thinking madness. >> i have to say, i think you're right that it was an effective line about feeling good the first day, the day that you elected him. i felt pretty great the day that he announced that we killed bin laden and the inclusion of the bin laden death in the speech by mr. romney i actually thought was rather magnanamous, all of the other security speeches have made no mention about that whatsoever as it had nothing to do with it. condoleezza rice asked after the fact about that by andrea mitchell and she claimed the death of bin laden as a victory for the bush administration. to hear him do that was somewhat
imagi magnamimus. >> the united america will care for the poor and the sick, will are honor and respect the elderly and give a helping hand to those in need got zero applause. even after they were primed and all of those episodes of applause lines, they were totally primed. when they heard this, as a room they stopped applauding. i thought that was so telling about tonight. not a good moment for the republican party to not be at all a compassionate, conservative party, at least in that moment. >> that part does not make the commercial. that part does not make the edit. i've got to tell you about the romney campaign has put out a statement about the clint eastwood debacle. it's a statement from a romney spokesperson, given to garret who covers the campaign for nbc. judging an american icon like clint eastwood through a typical
political lens does not work. his ad libbing was a break from the political speeches and the crowd enjoyed it. it's time for a change. that's the full statement unedited by me. >> he's in the last hour of the convention when the primetime nominee. to act like he's just doing an ad lib as an icon, they should have put him on another night. they did not think that he would get up there and erode in the front of the whole world like he did and it was embarrassing and the question is whether or not they did it in some desperate and tempted to get stardom or did they really think that americans were so silly that -- i mean, you almost wanted to go out there and get him. if he was at the apollo, we would have had the guy that comes with the rope and brings you off stage. >> i left the stage and got a
cookie because i was worried that my blood sugar had drop sod low that this couldn't possibly be real. >> let them go out with dignity. don't let him be remembered like that. >> they are trying to distance themselves already from clint eastwood. but what about the imagery? when clint eastwood came out, the outlaw joycey wells, wanted to keep fighting all the way and was an outlaw. and so i mean right then that pairs -- squares right with the saber rattling that chris was talking about. >> you made the point that clint eastwood want going to get mitt romney a single vote and he's an american ike con, clearly as an artist he's a genius. it's unfortunate that he was out there. i mean, i feel bad for him. but, you know, it was a mistake
by the campaign clearly to put him out there. >> but the crowd ate it up. >> and that actually is a substantive political element. that was the romney campaign's explanation after mitt romney said that president -- nobody asks me to see my birth certificate. their response to that was, whoa, you're going birther? hey, the crowd loved it. and that's a serious leadership issue there. >> he's an 82-year-old man. we should give him a break. >> this is msnbc's live coverage of the republican convention, which i should say for the purpose of programming. >> every other speaker proceeded to ignore the invisible president sitting right there on stage. >> marco rubio never addressed him. >> i tell you, that was the only night that he's -- >> there was more imagery there, too, the use of the "f" word. i know this president. he's a family man. he doesn't talk to reporters like that or anyone he interacts
with. >> i think one thing that has to be said is when mr. romney started talking about the president was supposed to bring us together and didn't and all of this division, he is completely given immunity to his party. >> yeah. >> that met the very night of the inauguration, planning to oppose and obstruct everything that this president did. he is really trying to act like the president failed in uniting the country, rather than the republicans fail even when he proposes things that the republicans agreed on. and then refused to do it with -- i think that's going to come back to haunt him because including paul ryan, they voted against republican plans. >> he could have done a little bit of -- listen, there was one line in paul ryan's speech in which he said something implicitly about the george w. bush administration being irresponsible.
he said we brought this on ourselves. half a line, it was buried, nobody applaused. there was nothing about both sides need to, we have also done this, we have also made mistakes. we need to work together more than we have in the past. there's been no working together. there's no sort of like stepping above it maturity moment. i'm looking at you, steve. >> i think the most powerful thing you can say to people who move back and forth between the elections is i will reach out with my hand open to work with the other side. it's a powerful piece that there is no reason mitt romney couldn't say tonight and that works with the portion of the electorate. as a political construct, on the front half when he's talking about domestic policy and has a lead on the economy and the ability to create jobs, he's ahead in the polls on that, and then he went on the foreign
policy issues where the president has an advantage and it was obviously he's running for president. you're going to talk about foreign policy, you're going to talk about national security. it's interesting to see how long he went down that path. you know, clearly as we talked about last night, i don't think that even in the republican party that there is an appetite for more adventurism around the world. >> although to hear him end his speech that way, we asked john mccain after john mccain spoke, does he share your views on this subject? and he said implicitly that he does and i didn't believe him and then mitt romney got up and gave the speech tonight saying with syria and iran and no mention -- >> took a direct shot at putin. i mean, direct shot at putin and we're dealing at a time that we do not need another war as we try to deal with -- >> let me bring chuck todd in from the convention floor. i'm sorry. i want to get to chuck because
you were there and i'm wondering your impression overall of the major -- the broad scale of the speech. >> two key words, optimistic nostalgia. i say that because i thought the only time he was harsh in his criticism with the president, for instance, was on the foreign policy. everything else was sort of nostalgic, disappointed, i wish things were better. but i was struck by how many times i heard phrases like, return to, restore to. and it played very well until this crowd and i've heard that before. but it also reminded me of another recent nominee speech that did that and at the time it played well but it handed the incumbent democratic president something to run against and that was bob dole in '96 and bill clinton. bob dole was talking about painting the clinton presidency as an accident, it wasn't really the sort of a bump that got in the way of a story of america.
i felt like that's what romney was trying to say tonight. i think there's always -- you know, there's a risk there if you look like you're looking to nostalgic, are you looking forward enough. now, mitt romney, i actually think that they have worried about that. i heard at the end the word future like three times to say, no, no, no, we're talking about the future. but i wouldn't be surprised if you see the obama folks sort of respond to this sort of nostalgic past to try to move forward. >> there is a reason why obama picked that campaign slogan forward, i think anticipating that kind of nostalgia that you're talking about, chuck. and they have been making fun of that all week long. it will be interesting to see if they double down on it. >> very quickly, rachel, i think the biggest thing he needed to accomplish tonight was to connect personally and that shouldn't be underestimated. when he was talking about his mom and his dad and his family,
that's as good as i've ever seen mitt romney connect on a personal level. and i think that that in itself, if that's all they get out of it. >> hearing his own emotion and fresh anecdotes that we have not heard, talking about his mother, i think that's -- >> i think the cartoon as he's been lampooned really faded away over the course of this. he became a real three-dimensional human being and came across like a good guy, a decent person and i think it's going to be hard to erase that from people's memories and i think he got out what i wanted out of this convention. i think he'll be surprised if mitt romney doesn't open up a lead of a margin of error. it will be short lived but i think they are going to get that lead for the first time in this race. >> it didn't seem like the guy who put a dog on top of a car.
>> they should have done more dog stuff. >> yeah, they should have attacked that head on. >> let me bring in kelly o'donnell. kelly o'donnell is on the floor for us. she had a great seat in the v.i.p. area. what could you see? >> reporter: well, it was really one of those nights that was a culmination for so many of the people in the v.i.p. box. we watched as ann romney was greeted by many people who have known them through the years. we saw the olympians seated in the box and saw moments where earlier in the program parts of the evening may not have been seen when the speakers were talking about moments in mitt romn romney's life where he had helped families in his community and there was a lot of emotion in the box at that point. very different emotion now. it's almost like they are trying to take down the goal posts. this is the california delegation right next to me where they have pulled down the sign for their state. on the floor tonight we certainly saw a lot of
excitement at different points. i would say that during the clint eastwood remarks it was a little difficult to tell what the romney family was thinking. they sort of held back. there weren't a lot of reactions during that but there were other times when everyone was on their feet and there was a lot of enthusiasm. you saw the big applause moments and big emotion moments of the evening. earlier a top aide told me that governor romney had a cold earlier in the week and they had been worried about that. he got more rest during the convention than he had in a long time and it was rare for all members of the family to be together and he got a lot of energy by spending time with the grandkids behind the scenes. so we saw lot of personal moments tonight where old friends came by and said hello, same true for paul ryan who was in the box for quite a long time tonight. there was one lighter moment when the 1980 miracle on ice team, had he just spoke and came back to the box and was standing next to me and he said clint
eastwood followed me. there were a lot of moments where it was important to individuals participating tonight, those who had emotional stories, those here to lend some story about who mitt romney has been in their lives and certainly for their family. always a great experience to be on the convention floor. i was at least hip deep in blue. it's one of those crazy moments that makes politics so fun to cover. >> in case you're wondering about another balloon drop, it was one guy standing behind you giving you your own personal balloon drop. >> that's great. good to know that. >> i want to bring in chris matthews from tampa. in terms of what you're hearing from chuck, what you're hearing from kelly -- >> kelly, can you tell us watching romney, how was he specifically different tonight than you've seen him in previous public iterations like this in a big room? >> reporter: well, i thought
that mitt romney looked like he was taking his time and that he had done a lot of preparation. he's spent so much time with the met particular lou meticulous details of the speech. obviously the day in and day out campaign trail has a much looser feeling in terms of it's not so formal, it's not so much to be perfect. it was important for him to be right on tonight, to have that kind of demeanor that people could relate to and an ability to deliver a speech of this length and with this content to an audience that in this room there were definitely moments where there were higher points and lower points. one of the things about the modern convention is that there are many people on their phones and their blackberries taking pictures and reading things while a speech is going on. that used to never happen. people were a little more focused. but i have watched mitt romney a lot on the trail and certainly
tonight and the people around him seem very pleased that he was able to come through on a night that was certainly the biggest in his career. there will be debate about how he did but in terms of being able to get through it, they told me today that he was remarkably relaxed. that was the term they had used and you did get the sense that he was at ease on that stage and that's often something that we look to with mitt romney, is he at ease? from my vantage point, he was at ease. the family often had tears in their eyes when they were watching. they were on their feet and they were living the moment. it was kind of like when the gymnast parents during the olympics were doing the moves with her moves. there were a few moments like that when the family was connecting to the speech. >> thank you, kelly. >> chris, in terms of you taking a slightly broader view on this, i think you were right to zoom in at the end of this but also the human stuff at the beginning, do you detect that there's a change in campaign strategy, that this is a pivot point and they are going to
start doing something differently than they have done? it's the same romney campaign before the convention as after? >> well, let's talk about social issues because he doesn't really like to talk about them. the way he handled with velvet gloves the issue of reproductive choice, very language there, very general language of marriage equality but opposing it but it would not incite any opposition in the room. very careful finesse i think it the right word. he doesn't seem like when he gets in the biggest possible room right now, like he will in the debates, he wants to debate abortion rights. he doesn't seem comfortable with wanting to debate against marnl marge equality. where he wants to emphasize as ronald reagan did 33 years ago is strictly the economy. he wants to be about jobs. like in a cartoon, that's when the bubble got big. that's when the words got big
and he stretched it out and savored it. that republican audience is focused on this country, not on further international expansion of our power, certainly not in a shooting war with iran and certainly not in some kind of rebuilding in the cold war are russia. i think he had to do those with the neocons, the people writing the speeches. again, i thought his best line when he said, i wish the president ha succeeded because i want america to succeed. if that is an authentic expression of his will, that he wanted this president to succeed, he's a good man. i'm not sure it's true. mitch mcconnell didn't want to unite america behind this president. he wanted this president to fail as leader of the senate in the republican party, he said from day one, i want him to fail. now, if romney shared that sentiment, he's not a good guy
because everybody should root for the success of every new president, at least in the outset, in principle. i guess i'll give romney credit for saying the right thing. all americans should have rooted for the president because they are rooting for america. it is the right sentiment for america and i really like that line. >> chris hayes? >> there was talk about some specifics in these jobs plans. i'll note that 12 million new jobs that he's promising is about what is being projected in most macro economic forecasts as we work our way out of the recession. >> by the cbo? >> yeah, the cbo has projected that. north american energy independence is a preposterous idea. it used to be american energy independence. there's stuff off the gulf of mexico. we've enlarged the area that we're going to have with canada and mexico. oil is an international commodity whose price is driven
by the international supply and it's not a coherent concept and also the line about greece, which is something that is a through line among the campaign circles, we are going to become greece and they will not vanish and there is just no comparison between greece and the u.s. greece is locked into a union that doesn't control , it has a structural deficit that is different than our own. it's just dirt ridiculous. >> here is another thing that jumped out of me. when the world needs to do really good enough, you need an american. that was the other line. you know, we've got to do big stuff. we've got big problems. we don't have an american. how else are we supposed to take that line?
to i am pli that the guy who's leading the country right now is not an american when the world needs to do really big stuff we needed american. i felt that was below the belt and it was a dog whistle, whatever you want to call it, a bone throw to the birthers out there that i'm not that far from you. >> it struck me as the same way, especially coming on the heels of his birther joke from this past week. all right. we're going to take a quick break. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the rnc convention. when we come back, we'll talk about the weirdest thing that happened tonight. something really, really, really, really weird happened in the last hour of the convention and it cannot be ignored. that's ahead. >> if you felt that he can assignment when you voted for barack obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's president obama? you know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done
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i haven't seen every political convention that's happened on television, if there is anything weirder i have yet to hear it described or read by the. clint eastwood, actors are lifelong republican, apparently an ad-libb ebed speech in primee at 10:03, that part there was the spine that he hung his remarks, and idea he was interviewing an empty chair in which an invisible president obama was sitting and that invisible president obama was telling, was swearing at him and telling him to shut up and mr. eastwood was responding to this invisible character. as far as the romney campaign cu culpability, his coverage started at 10:00 for the all-important nominee acceptance speech, they didn't have the
video, very good, i thought, intro ductry video, instead that aired before so 10:00 p.m. so the campaign could have room for mr. eastwood speaking to an empty chair rambling about the president swearing at him in his own mind on network television introducing mitt romney. i'm done. >> i think everything we would like to give credit to romney for, if we were to, about him saying let's unite america and by, of him that we need to bring the country together, he had totally contradicted that by putting eastwood on who belittled the president by acting like he would swear in that way belittling of the whole convention. you don't have an opening act like that, primetime and then you come out with a loftie speech and end the speech by insulting the head of russia almost like war mongering and
say we through israel in front of the bus. it was like one of these real attempts to go to the mountaintop but you know i really live in the valley and he had to go back -- >> one of the old political attempts to paint someone as an empty suit. >> empty chair, empty suit? >> the symbolism is very strong and also very demeaning. and tomorrow, around the water cooler, it's about clint eastwood, it's not about mitt romney. >> that's what is remembered. >> the social meadia, all about clint eastwood, he was the big winner tonight. >> that's the serious point for republicans here. the first convention video not seen in primetime since 1984, a great video, humanized him. all of the montages of the family videos not seen and tomorrow morning, you had a brilliant, brilliant speech by marco rubio, i think one of the
best articulations of a conservative vision that probably since reagan time for choosing speech, incredible speech. mitt romney did a fantastic job in the speech and all that will be cut into in the coverage because of the sloppy clint eastwood decision. >> can you explain someone who has been in this room, what was the conversation like? did clint eastwood say i'm just going to go out and wing it and everyone said -- >> yeah, like we vetted the rand paul speech but you can go ahead? >> i don't understand how that came about. >> somebody put the empty chair out there. >> they knew he was going do it. >> that's the $64,000 question. i suspect we'll find out before too long. just incredibly irresponsible and it's really going to hurt romney because it's really going to cut into the coverage of, again, marco rubio's brilliant speech and mitt romney's very
effective speech. mitt romney gave the speech of his life and the fact minutes will be taken away from the coverage of it tomorrow, not good. >> before we wrap up and hand over to chris math eews -- >> in 2008 we had some evidence at the end of the campaign that we had a bit of forward movement, dealing with lots of problems post financial collapse but the positive moment we had at the end of the campaign smack dab, when colin powell endorsed president obama and i was listening to comments on putin, relating to foreign policy and i'm reminded when secretary powell said not long ago with regard to some comments governor romney made about russia, come on, mitt, think, russia is not our number one enemy. i know colin powell listened to that speech tonight and that endorsement matters and when you look at the people who are out
there on the sidelines who have yet to endorse in this race, there is one person who really matters who has a lot of credibility, that's colin powell and i wonder politically if there is a repercussion. >> saber rattling at rush shays a proven way to not get that endorsement. that is an important point but culturewise and historical impact, great speeches and big point in the campaign, i don't mean to make light of other things but clint eastwood thing really seriously blew their final night and they're making light of it already but i cannot believe that it happened. we'll do all of this again next week for the democrats convention, more fun maybe times two. i want to thank my guests. next week, we'll be here, on tuesday, but our coverage of the republican convention in tampa continues with the great, one and only chris matthews.
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mr. chairman, and delegates, i accept your nomination for president of the united states. >> good evening, i'm chris matthews here in tampa for a special edition of "hardball" and tonight mitt romney delivered the most important speech of his career and in some ways a remarkable moment. at one time self-progressed moderate governor of
massachusetts and developing the precursor of the health care plan, hit speech was to the right. culmination of his years of come paining for president and his challenge was to connect to people and to pitch himself as acceptable alternative to president obama. >> president obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the ocea oceans. [ laughter ] and to heal the planet. [ laughter ] my promise is to help you and your family. [ cheers and applause ] >> the speech had positive tributes to his mother, to our free enterprise system and his family generally. but there were other darker moments as well. we'll get into all of it with "the huffington post". >> i sat here and liked resounding nature, i like good oratory. it had some good moments.
i wish the president had succeeded because i want america -- if that's true a good sentiment, if it's true. if it's not a good thing to express. that thing about the oceans, that thing about the planet, what's the point? how narrow-minded, how small and insurance slar a insular and piggish to say we don't care about the planet we live on, it's hotter, the climb -- i've been in alaska, it's so manifestly true what's going on he's mocking it. >> chris, i think it's on two levels that you can question hist first of all, the anti-science sentiment that you just mentioned which is a big theme in the republican party of today, the faith-based republican party which often seems to put science in a category next to evil. but beyond that, and even worse, i think, was the sort of smart alecy nature of the way he said
that. >> yeah. >> the rest of the speech was the good man mitt romney. i'm a good man, i'm a decent man. right there he was doing a parlor snark, if you will. >> what happened to the stewardsh stewardship, all of our religions believe in the stewardship, god gave us this planet, to destroy it >> donzel -- >> they was being too cute by half. >> what did that tell but that audience? >> i was in the hall, the audience loved it, best applause line of the night. >> it was disingenuine. when he was gofrp vernor, he accepted climate change, he was enlightened on the subject. i think it's another example of the way he has pandered, the way he's changed his views or his stated views to fit what he believes is his constituency on the right. >> let's move to foreign policy,
another one of my problems. i wanted him to pay tribute to his wife, i love what he said about women who work in the home, my mother had five boys, i pay tribute to that. how can you not. his language when it came to iran and russia and foreign policy in general, let's watch. >> every american was relieved the day president obama gave the order and s.e.a.l. team 6 took out bin laden. on another front, every american is less secure today because he has failed to slow iran's nuclear threat. in his first tv interview as president he said we should talk to iran. we're still talking and iran's century fuj centrifugess are still pinning. he has thrown israel under the bus, while throwing sanctions on cuba, he abandoned poland by
walking away by missile defense commitments but eager to give russia's putin the flexibility he desires after the election. >> i have to tell you i don't think he thinks that, i think he's reading that. i think dan senor wrote that for him. it's a line of argument. first of all, have we thrown israel understo the bus? you don't hear it from the prime minister -- >> if it's dan senor writing it why is hi parroting it? there is not a con stit kstitue a war with iran. >> was this a hopped up war crowd there? >> not really, i talked to senior citizens about medicare, republican women who said let's cut defense spending.
actually, and clint eastwood, crazy as he was, got some applause for his let's get out of afghanistan. >> he was george mcgovern there. >> i think on this thing, this speech had to be aimed at a single mom in canton, ohio, sitting in her kitchen table wondering if he's a decent guy or how will he get me and my kids jobs? that excursion into foreign policy at the end, which played well in the hall was unnecessary political politically. i don't know why he felt he had to do it. >> like the state of the union address you have to hit all of the points? >> no, that's old -- >> let's pause. there are things i liked and we all liked. governor romney talking and actually getting choked up talking about his mother, this very modern woman, very pro-choice, who ran for the senate in a time women weren't running for the senate. let's watch. >> my mom and dad were true partners.
a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. when my mom ran for the senate my dad was there for her every step of the way. i could still see her saying in her beautiful voice, "why should women have any less say than men about the great decisions facing our nation?" >> i saw ann romney choke up there, the fact her husband was saying not only equal right, but equal across the board. >> i thought he was convincing about that and i thought for the first time, we talked about this before the speech, he unpacked some memorable details about his life and the bit about how george romney used to give the mother a rose every morning and put it -- >> wow. >> you heard that. >> i loved that story. >> and then the morning that there was no rose she knew that her husband, was something wrong. it sounds corny and crazy but i guarantee you everybody out there had a mental image of that
rose. >> it was beautiful. it was absolutely beautiful. >> that involves, that means every day getting a new one, putting it in the fridge overnight, getting up before your wife and coming down and putting it on the plate. i mean, this is a heavenly husband. >> to writers, the other beautiful image was waking up in the morning and having a pile of kids asleep -- >> i liked that. >> where was seamus? was he on the bed -- >> on the roof. >> and we're taking note of these because there have been very few of them. i think he got over very low bar of saying i'm a human being. i'm not a conehead. >> does this prep him for the deba debates? i got the feeling put some wind in his back in terms of self-confidence. they gets a big applause as a major orator for the first time, does this get him ready to take
on obama? >> the speech revealed his entire campaign is based on minimalist strategy of saying that obama failed. there no real details in his plan. >> did he -- >> 12 million jobs what is everyone this is will happen in the next four years anyway and no details and believe it north, those undecided voters would like to hear some specific reason why they should feel hopeful. now, so, that's what struck me about this -- >> no cuts. no cuts. >> no nothing. he's not saying. people aren't dumb. they know something is missing. >> estate taxes, bush tax cuts, none of that stuff. >> i don't think this necessarily gives him confidence for the be dates. >> he's a good debater. might help him in the debates. what struck me about the speech was overall impression, being sweet, talking about himself and humanizing himself and talking about women, he was like good
mitt. when he's on the attack, he changes. >> i know. that's business. >> he becomes the guy who laid you off, you know? >> the worst mitt was the snarky one about i won't save the oceans -- >> i resent that so deeply, about the future. what we called in the '60s, a pig, people that talked about that, generally, i'm not saying -- might have been the be line of the night. >> i wish president obama had succeeded because i want america to succeed. but his promises gave way to disappointment and division. this isn't something we have to accept. now is the moment when we can do something and with your help, we will do something. >> you know what, i don't know
about that line but i did love it because it was america. i think every time we have a new president inaugurated most people say let's give this guy a shot. let's give him a honeymoon, that's what it is, we're hopeful for him. >> it's all very nice but a predicate for him to repeat over and over again that obama has failed. >> are you saying he was hoping he would? >> no, no, i'm not saying that. i'm not saying that. i'm just saying that it's a rhetorical nicety -- >> that disappointment is better than i don't like the guy. >> saying it in sorrow, not in ang anger -- >> political baloney. >> that works better than the relentless attack. that grates on people. >> i agree. >> i think we heard the end of compassionate conservative in this sin of omission. this line didn't get much reaction, i say strangely, from the audience. >> that united america will care for the care and sick and horne and respect the elderly and give a helping hand to those in need.
>> ha. nothing. nothing. scratch. scratch. >> i heard the chirping of crickets. >> nothing. wild pitch. no reaction. >> i was in the hall. nothing on that one. >> they saw it coming, in a rhythmic reaction to everything until they heard compassion coming. clammed up. >> that's because they've been primed with rhetoric that says any expression of compassion is an excuse for big government. this whole convention is about the fact that government doesn't work. it sort of begs the question of why we elect a president to begin with. >> when he did the line i want to help you and your family my twitter feed, i was looking and conservatives saying i wish he said i want government off your back. >> they were ahead of the applause which didn't exist that time. thank you howard fineman and gene robinson. the world of social media buzzing about clint eastwood, making his day in the wrong way. msnbc's live coverage continues
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what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that. can't do that to himself. >> that was the great clint eastwood tonight's mystery guest speaker and final night of republican convention and safe to say his performance left many mistified. the bizarre rambling included a back and forth with an empty
stool he pretended was our president. the scene instantly erupted over social media, we got the word immediately and saturday night live head writer quoting, respect to clint, 82 years old and putting twitter over capacity. safe to say most of the comments on twitter are not complimentary. and with me now is msnbc political analyst and mother jones washington bureau chief david korn and comedy cental's political arm, from it editorial producer mary to my right and comedian jared logan. do a riff, what did we see tonight? he came out, everybody loved him, sort of old and folksy and iconic figure in american life but he did an, what we called a bob newhart, talking to somebody that isn't there. >> the man with no point tonight, i think. amazing. you don't let an 82-year-old man just go off script and talk about whatever he wants. my grandmother is 82 and we
don't let her do that. >> we'll get rid of obama, that was pretty personal. >> he was all over the place, he was talking to obama. >> here is eastwood, great actor, speaking to the empty stool. pretended was president obama. let's watch this performance. >> how do you handle, how do you handle promises that you made when you're running for election and how do you handle it? what do you say to people? do you just -- i know people -- people are wondering you don't -- okay. >> i think ha hair do was by christopher lloyd by the way. >> there was something about it that was almost performance art, right? if it hadn't been happening on the stage of a national political convention it might
have gotten an an nea grant of some sport. >> aren't you putting in a plug -- good liberals. >> you and i speak the same language. was any part of you rooting for him to be better? >> i was disappointing he was there, prees pro choice and talked about doing something about global warming. >> and he wants them home from afghanistan. >> that was incomprehensible, seemed to believe that mitt romney's position is bring the troops home tomorrow morning which of course it isn't, it's keep them there forever. i have to say, do you know in mitt romney's speech how many times he mentioned afghanistan or the troops? not once. i thought that also was incomprehensible, how did he get away with that if you want to be commander in chief? >> talking like the crazed saber rattler, jingoist, go to war on every front, push the russkises
and doesn't mention the current wars. >> how do you give a speech like this to the nation and not note the service of 100,000 men and women in uniform in afghanistan? clint eastwood didn't seem to really know what mitt romney was saying. >> eastwood is a notorious libertarian. >> i thought the chair did very well. >> you were rooting for the chair. let's take a look at some more of this. roll some more of this performance from those who didn't tune in for clint eastwood. his own variation on mitt romney's liking to fire people. that wasn't good in the first instance. here it is in the second. >> it's important that you realize that -- that you're the best in the world and whether democrat or whether republican or libertarian or whatever, you're the best and we should not ever forget that and when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.
[ cheers and applause ] let 'em go. >> whatever you want to say about his performance and it's ul been negative that got the highest applause so far i thought in the convention. because it was so negative and they wanted to hear it. >> that's a good point, when things are not good they should be better. like very specific, very to the point on clint eastwood's part. >> let him go. that's a praise in business. not fired, had to let her go let him go. >> both clint and mitt see the need to fire people. >> donald trump was there anyway. firing seems to be a big thing with these guys. your thoughts? >> let them go didn't strike me as a good movie catchphrase in the waves do you feel lucky, punk. the other phrase that got a big applause line when he said we own this country. >> okay.
let's go with that one. >> they went nuts. >> what do you by my that? what's the "we?" >> a slight sense, wee bit of sense of entitlement in the room and when clint eastwood said that they really enjoyed zbliit. >> who is the we? >> the delegatdelegates, those the train. >> from whom? >> the guy in the white house and his pals. he's not part of the we. >> seemed like an effort to tie into the republicans' theme of we built it, we built it, therefore we own it. the connection didn't seem to make a lot of sense but then again, nothing else he said did either. i want to believe that's the logical connection he was trying to make. >> this was part of the theme he's not one of us? >> i don't know if he was going that far but the other thing that was strange, what ad did he do at half time? the detroit -- >> auto industry rebuild. >> who is responsible for that, mr. eastwood? >> what was he saying about
gitmo? a lot of my friends on the pretty tough left were angry about the president for not delivering, people in my family, young members are of my family, thinking not getting rid of gitmo was a big deal. here saying he promised -- does he want to get rid of gitmo, no, he said it was a good investment we got to keep it. >> he was off the prompter at that point. >> hundreds of people going no, no! >> you can't blame that on the prompter. >> that was the thing, nothing on the prommer, they just decided on the most important night of mitt romney's life they let this guy come out and say whatever he wanted to say. >> somebody thought of some genius here, clint eastwood's speech, brings to mind the famous line from ross perot's chosen vp admiral stockdale in the october debate, not fair he's a great american hero but what a line. just watch. >> our opening statement? >> who am i? why am i here?
>> i hate that because he was a p.o.w., a great guy and yet he -- so wonderfully honestly, i don't belong here, do think? >> wasn't a good opener. >> let's hear some great lines from the daily show. what will he say tomorrow night? what will stewart do with this baby? >> you'll have to watch and find out. one of my favorite moments of the clint eastwood speech when he told a roomful of ron paul supporters that you shouldn't bite your lip and vote for the guy you don't really want. again seemed like -- >> whoa, wasn't that about romney? >> that's it but i think what he meant was, i think trying to make it about obama, but sounded -- >> didn't you hear the same thing think? heard rom think? >> i was like, you shouldn't be bringing that up. >> you should not mention that here. >> sometimes you have to go for the guy that you need. >> remember the lyric, if you're
not with the one you love, love the one you're with. >> that's right. >> that's all cai can say, than god he didn't sing. >> in memory, in memory of clint eastwood before he went on that stage tonight i honor his memory. i hope it comes back. he'll outlive this infamy, i believe, new movie about women's baseball, i'm rooting for it to be great. didn't we all love "million dollar baby?" thank you, the writers for the daily show, tell jon stewart to like me, will you? thank you david corn. your watching msnbc's live coverage of the republican convention. >> if you felt that excitement when you voted for barack obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's president obama? you know there is something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.
did claude make your day? >> it was a good comedy skit. >> it was funny? >> what did you think of clint eastwood? >> i thought clint eastwood is the reason why we need obama care. >> you are tough. >> was an ageist joke. what did you think of eastwood? >> a great man, i like clint eastwood. >> you're still with him. anybody have a problem? apparently the blogosphere has been very, very tough. >> he was cute but ineffective. >> you think disrespectful of our president? the empty chair? >> just a little. >> i thought it should have been like the golden globes, not the republican convention. let's go to romney. >> looking like he was talking to his imaginary friend.
>> did romney show he was a human being, not a robot? >> i don't think so. if a republican president had gotten rid of bin laden and doubled the stock market -- >> they would be dancing in the end zone. >> i think mitt romney proved he's more than capable of showing he could be the new president, jobs is the issue and he creates jobs. >> i think the whole night turned it for me, basically all of the staples, founders, all of the experience he had, the olympics. >> you think he's a job crateea. >> you got your food, you want to talk about this? >> i missed the entire thing i was at hooters. i'm kidding. >> what do you think? >> i think as a country we're better than race baiting, i thought that was despicable, i think it's been despicable, we're better than that. >> clint eastwood started his career with "i sing to the
trees" now ending with the i talk to the chairs. >> i thought the speech was inspirational. >> clint eastwood's or romney's? >> i only heard romney's. >> what do you remember from the inspirational speech? >> that we wanted change -- >> come on -- >> more jobs. >> that was in the speech, you're right. jobs was in the speech. >> i thought it was a prep speech not a pep speech. >> like prepster? >> you think some boarding school-zblsh a little cranbrook. >> you're keeping score. >> at least he didn't say -- >> a want to know where seamus was when the kids were in the bed. did he let the dog in the bed? >> it brought good energy to tampa. >> how come you don't sweat? everybody else sweats here. >> i'm from here.
i think clint eastwood had a lot of really intellectual points he made as well as he was super funny. >> give me an eastwood point tonight. >> um -- >> see what i do for a living? >> i watched the whole thing and the whole time -- >> what grabbed you that he said? what did he say? >> a lot about how he did make all these promises and -- >> that's right. fair enough. >> romney's speech was fantastic, rubio's, u.s. senator from florida. >> yeah. what's the point of that commentary? >> we're floridians. >> you are a piece of work, buddy. yes. >> yes, i believe governor romney gave an amazing speech and he truly put his business a acumen on display for everybody to see and based on what he's said he's the short in the arm goat country back on track. >> you think he showed he's a human sfwhbeing? >> he has the character we need. >> i'm not a supporter of romney
but i thought he did a good job of human iegz himself and seemed like a nice guy. i won't vote for him but seems like a nice guy. >> thank you. one last thought. i think i know where you stand, sir. >> i would like to make a $10,000 bet with mitt romney that obama wins florida. >> thank you, everybody. we'll be back. [ female announcer ] the power of green coffee extract is now in our new starbucks refreshers™ -- a breakthrough in natural energy. made with real fruit,
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obama's waim waiving of the work requirements in welfare reform is one example of his direct repudiation of president reagan reagan's values and he's proud of what he's done and his partisanship but he should be ashamed of putting politics before people. >> welcome back to our late night coverage of the tampa republican convention. to paraphrase president reagan, hee they go again. no fact checking, it's been rechecked and president obama did not waive the work requirement for welfare. any defense for these attacks? both are msnbc political analysts. mark, it's rare that all of the fact checkers agree, they do seem to all agree that obama's not waiving the work
requirement. we had intereviews here, i can' find a governor who will say yes, it's true. >> the kasich interview, he was part of the republican brand. i thought what they hit more is you didn't build it, there is nothing to it and they hit it over and over. when they say in context it's even worse, no, it's not. in context it's more clear. >> he praises individual initiative in that same paragraph and talking about infrastructure because we can't build our own roads. if do you ads over and over and speeches, can you get away with it, you can. i think the white house is fighting back in a way that is not totally defensive by it's hard because both strike at issues that republicans want to emphasize, tease out. one is that the president
doesn't believe in work and the other is that the president doesn't believe in the private sector. so, there is the reason, part of the reason they're effective is they're rest -- resonant for some people. >> you get romney praising the free enterprise system, hint, hint, he doesn't, the body blows have already hit below the build, built, he can -- >> he can take the high road, doesn't have to get dirty and deliver the body blows. it's difficult. it's an interesting political science kweshgs do you have to go up with counter ads? do you have to counter their carpet bombing with your own carpet bombing or is that somehow drawing more attention-zblattention attention -- >> you're both print guys. papers are saying erroneously dishonest in the a-1 reports on
the front page, dishonest ads about the welfare charge. "time" probably doing the same thing. when does the legitimate press stop doing it and say we can't win this argument? >> that es a water shed, you don't normally see that, i think that's fantastic because you can't have a false equivalency when things aren't equivalent. the obama campaign lost a bit of high ground on this they have months taking things governor romney took out of context, he doesn't like firing people. >> did the burton ad hurt, about the husband saying my wife died -- >> i think it probably did but that's a bit of a different thing but yeah, but also they mischaracterizing governor romney's position on abortion in an ad, their hands are not totally clean but at this point the romney campaign is besting them in making these distortions and untruths a bigger part of their message. >> here tonight mitt romney in
his big speech, barnburner many believe, he continued discredit line that proesident obama did get money from medicare to pay for his health care program. >> his $716 billion cut to medicare to finance obama care will both hurt today's seniors and depress innovation and jobs in medicine. >> and the medicare line he spoke was the same one used by paul ryan last night. let's listen. >> even with all of the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with the new law and new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in washington still didn't have enough money. they needed more. they needed hundreds of billions more. so, they just took it all away from medicare. $716 billion funled out of medicare by president obama.
>> and then newt gingrich continued the untrue narrative that president obama has diminished america in the eyes of the world. >> it's striking how president carter and president obama both took our nation down a path that in four years weakened america's confidence in itself and our hope for a better future. >> both weakened the respect for america abroad. >> anyway, tonight mitt romney and his big speech also said president obama raised taxes on the middle class, but he didn't. let's listen to him. >> and let me make this very clear, unlike president obama, i will not raise taxes on the middle class of america. >> you know, we're living under george bush's tax schedule. you think we'd be living under sigh highly repressive left wing
regime but every attempt to change the bush tax laws have been beaten and we're living under the same basic fiscal policy of w. and they blame, they do that's politics but here again, this challenge of the facts. >> you could kind of go down the list and medicare, that's chutzpah for paul ryan since his budget assumes the same savings. >> why did paul ryan write into his budget, subsequently passed by the house and all of the republicans basically voting for it, that number, which he blames on obama, why did he put it into his numbers? >> he needs the revenue. >> exactly. >> already falls short in a lot of i was of real deficit reduction andspecificity and if you took the politics out both the president and paul ryan would say you have to find savings in medicare, just a reality. >> every time a conversation gets started about the issues of dishonesty and claim dishonesty,
objective dishonesty and overstatement or manipulation of fact, i think of the upcoming vice presidential debate. for some reason i think that's where we'll see this hashed out. mark? because biden has to take on the very grand -- the number cruncher who comes up with the numbers. >> some of it, although i'm not sure the white house wants to put all of the chips on biden, ryan is a sharp guy. if this existed in '88 could you imagine the flag factories and willie horton -- this is not brand new, there is more fact checking than ever before and both sides doing as much as they can get away. went until the super pac ads start w no press releases announcing them, no accountbuilt. >> no fact checker will dictate our pr campaign --
>> i think that's incredible. if you're trying to reach low information voters, does a headline in the "the new york times" saying it's inaccurate count counteract the carpet bombing of ads? >> we know the answer. >> we know the answer. >> no. >> the 6% holding out are not looking for more information on these points. thank you mark and eugene, thank you for steaking insticking aro. what did the republican party accomplish tonight and this week in tampa? it's sweltering, by the way. only cooling down now. this is our live coverage. >> the president can tell us that the next four years he'll get it right but this president cannot tell us that you're better off today than when he took office. we're sitting on a bunch of shale gas. there's natural gas under my town. it's a game changer. ♪
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>> my mom and dad were married for 64 years and if you wondered what their secret was, could you have asked the local florist. because every day dad gave mom a rose, which he put on her bedside table. that's how she found out what happened on the day my father died. she went looking for him because that morning, there was no rose.
>> welcome back to our late night coverage of the republican national convention as we close out our late night in tampa, let's look at what was accomplished these past few days, especially tonight. meghan mccain, daughter of the last presidential nominee and "daily beast" columnist and the correspondent for "time", new interview with president obama in the new issue of the magazine. we haven't seen that yet here. take your time on this the big question we were asking for the last several days, can romney begin some kind of political matrimony with his own party, i know he's the nominee, can he be the one that is somewhat beloved, even? did he do that tonight? >> even that clip e when he talked about his father and mother, heally
connected, i started tearing up. i never had this reaction to this man as much as i respect him, i never had an emotional reaction to mitt romney and he did that to me tonight. >> that was a story about what i thought was a challenge to him, his dad was so impressive in that video, the short moments that tough, rock ribbed republican, main of plain speech and toughness, unlike mitt romney. i thought the father overshadowed the son. what did you think? in the video we saw tonight. i never saw george look better. >> people won't see the video, most people -- i think tonight was a test for mitt romney, first time he's in the living rooms of a lot of voters, they weren't following the primaries closely and he has to pass a test that they want to have him back in the living room, not just a couple of more times, but four more years. >> how did he do? >> nervous in the beginning, but the story line of the night is disrupted by the clint eastwood thing but i agree with meghan,
for 15 minutes in the middle, talking about the his family he came across as slightly awkward guy who cares deeply about what he's doing who is a person who is very likable. and something he's not been able to do on the stump so far. >> did you notice he was able to convey a biography of a regular person through his father, his mother, wife, kids on the bed in the morning when he woke up without doing an introspective of the way he looked at the meaning of life or anything like that. did you notice how he didn't get too internal? >> i appreciate that, i know some things about his personal life but didn't know about his father, i enjoyed the biography and seeing ann's reaction. i'm the republican, i'm the converted. i wasn't a hard audience. >> i thought with mitt romney from 2008 his big challenge was he rarely had the courage to be who he was, to be himself. he was always nervous about how he would be betrayed, if he
would mess up, it was tangible when he talked to reporters that he would be off guard. >> i asked kelly o'donnell what was the differentence between this and earlier big hall presentations. she said she savored, it was very carefully rehearsed, practiced with care and delivered with slow precision. >> i think that's true but also, more important, it was an emotional speech. he was emotional in the middle, he talked about his church. >> here what is president obama tweeted tonight. didn't know president's tweeted. a picture of him sitting in the president's chair and he says, this seat's taken. i don't know whether that does the job or not. what do you think, meghan? >> ouch. >> i think -- >> do you think he really tweeted that? >> when he tweets it says -- he didn't actually -- the campaign
is trying to go viral. the campaign has to be careful, they could profit from the clint eastwood, but if they seem to be pushing it out. it lessens the quality of the conversation. i love condi rice, i thought she was grand and churchillian and american, not exclusive, it was for everybody. who did you like? >> governor martinez, she's the woman to watch and as a republican woman, talking about why she loves the pare, shooting guns, she is the one to watch. >> from new mexico. she came back from her meeting with the republican recruiter and said we're republicans, i never thought of it that way. what about rubio tonight? cuban american d some spanish out there, will that help with the spanish vote, michael? >> won't help with a lot of spanish vote which has turned away from the republican party.
rubio demonstrated he's the most talented communicator and an asset they need to figure how to deploy better. >> this was the speech of his life, too, he really stepped up tonight. i think he stepped up tonight. >> you think he's really good. you think he would have been a better candidate than ryan? >> i don't know. i love marco rubio, i love young, i love what he's doing in florida and if he isn't going to be the running mate he has to be a presidential candidate in 2016. >> still haven't centered on why they picked rubio over ryan. >> if you pick rubio the conversation then becomes about rubio, about why rubio is more talented and better speaker and about the issue of immigration, latino vote, not where the romney campaign wants to be right now. >> i liked the governor's, i like casi case -- kasich, and s
walker came out well, they're talk meat and potatoes, talking about real stuff and real lives in politics. you know what i mean? not b.s., if you will. >> i thought nikki haley was great, i wasn't always the biggest fan of hers and she came across. >> i finally clicked on me why she's gotten elected and been so popular. thank you meghan mccain and michael scherer. that's it for our coverage. the whole convention is over. i'll be back tomorrow for "hardball" until then, good night from tampa. [ female announcer ] the power of green coffee extract
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